By Scott Taylor
Photo by James Carey Lauder
The Barracuda ate the Moose.
Despite a strong, 36-save performance by Moose rookie netminder Jamie Phillips, Manitoba was whipped 6-3 by the San Jose Barracuda on Saturday night.
With the loss, their second straight to San Jose, the Moose fell to 25-36-4-5 and dropped into last place in the American Hockey League’s Central Division. The Moose are now 2-7-0-1 in their last 10 games.
The Moose got themselves behind the eight-ball in the first period when they were outshot 21-6 and outscored 2-0. They never recovered.
Playing in front of 4,378 at SAP Center in San Jose, the 41-14-2-5 Barracuda went to work early. Although Phillips had a brilliant start, the Barracuda got on the board at 17:58 with a goal from Buddy Robinson and then Ryan Carpenter scored at 19:54 to give the home side a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period.
The Moose notched their first of the night on the power-play when Kevin Czuczman’s point shot eluded San Jose netminder Clarke Saunders at 3:19 as Patrice Cormier and Jack Roslovic picked up the assists.
However, San Jose extended its lead again on a power-play of its own when Joakim Ryan beat Phillips for his 10th of the season. The Moose continued to have success on the man advantage when Scott Kosmachuk’s point blast went off a Barracuda defender and right to Dan DeSalvo who made no mistake for his 16th of the season at 14:00 – bringing Manitoba back to within one after 40 minutes.
But San Jose regained their two-goal lead at 3:27 of the third when Tim Heed’s centering pass off a rush deflected off Zack Stortini to put San Jose on top, 4-2. The Moose it 4-3 on the power-play at 4:17 when Kyle Connor slid the puck into a wide open goal for his team-leading 23rd of the season. Jack Roslovic snagged his second point of the night with an assist.
Then with the Moose pushing to tie the game late in the period, Rourke Chartier scored his 17th of the year for San Jose to give the Barracuda a 5-3 lead. San Jose added an empty netter and that was it.
The Barracuda outshot the Moose 42-35. Manitoba went three-for-four on the power-play while San Jose was one-for-four.
The Moose immediately returned to Winnipeg where they will kick off their final home stand of the season. It all starts on Tuesday night against the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7 p.m. CDT followed by a rematch on Wednesday night.
THE NOTEBOOK: Winnipeg Jets 2015 third-round pick, Luke Green, made his professional debut tonight… Jack Roslovic picked up two assists while Kevin Czuczman had a goal and an assist