SAN JOSE—The San Jose Barracuda came back from two consecutive losses to earn a win against the Stockton Heat, 5-2.
Stockton forward Andrew Mangiapane scored the first goal of the game, almost 18 minutes into the first period. San Jose’s Brandon Mashinter retaliated by scoring less than two minutes later with only 22 seconds remaining.
Mashinter, left winger and AHL veteran, was paired on the offensive line with center John McCarthy and right winger Filip Sandberg, who scored the final goal of the game with just under four minutes remaining. Mashinter provided an assist for Sandberg’s goal.
“You could see today [Mashinter had] a lot of great plays,” said Sandberg after the match. “This was the first game I played with him, but I thought it was really fun. [There was] a lot of hard work out there. On [my] goal, we had a good forward check and he gave it to me, and I just shot it into the goal. “[Mashinter is] a really nice player to have on your team.”
McCarthy, another AHL veteran, added that the trio’s confidence built as the game progressed.
Forwards Danny O’Regan, Adam Helewka, and Rudolfs Balcers played in harmony as O’Regan notched two goals (he now has a total of four between both games against Stockton this year). Helewka and Balcers assisted each one.
“I feel more confident,” said Helewka. “Playing with Danny O’Regan always helps, he is a great player. [O’Regan and Balcers] are two highly skilled players; they find you in open ice.”
O’Regan referred to his two goals as “beneficiary” plays from Helewka and Balcers (an AHL first-timer).
“[Helewka] is very creative, a creative guy and skilled,” said O’Regan. “I like the way he plays; I played with him a lot last year and I think we go well together.”
The Barracuda got swooped by the Grand Rapids Griffins 7-4 in the home opener, and the Heat defeated them 4-0 in their previous match. This feat seemingly had Coach Roy Sommer thinking about how the evening would end.
“I knew we had to play better than we did over the weekend,” said Sommer. “We’re still not there yet, we still have a lot to do on our own end; it is not where it should be. Look at the two goals [Stockton] scored, point blankers. I don’t think we gave them two of those all year [last season], so we’ve got to get better on our own end… we’re leaving on a good note.”