The ABCs of hockey

Ice hockey isn’t a popular sport on the West Coast, but it’s definitely one worth learning.

Growing up in northern California, I followed the National Hockey League, but like most people in the Bay Area, I wasn’t obsessed with the sport. I only set my eyes on hockey when one of my teams was in the playoffs. Of course, I support my home team, the Sharks, but I also followed the Devils — especially Martin Brodeur — but things changed as soon as I met my close friend and Inside Hockey editor, Brad. He covered the Islanders and still does up to this day. I knew the Isles weren’t a very good team, but they had a rich history.

The Isles’ dynasty from 1980-83 was certainly something to remember. Obviously, I wasn’t alive during the Isles’ spectacular cup run, but this is a part of history and it matters. I feel like people aren’t true sports fans unless if they know about their teams, inside and out.

The Devils were good while they lasted, but I was fascinated by the Isles and how they played. The Isles played with tons of physicality and a sprinkle of finesse. They’re fun to watch. John Tavares is my favorite current Islander. Moreover, Mike Bossy is my favorite Islander of all-time. There’s a lot of Isles players I enjoy watching, but I’m not going to write out a Christmas list on this post. I’m pretty sure you can figure out the rest of my favorite players on the other New York team. It’s not rocket science.

Aside from Brad, I slowly began to make new friends through Isles groups on Facebook. As you can see, I was truly interested in the team.

Fast forward to February 2016 when I was looking for an Isles admin for my own hockey group, the “HOCKEY LOUNGE” and this guy named Shawn volunteered to help me out. Soon, we became good friends and he invited his friends to the group.

Little did I know, his brother approached me and then his friend Adam accepted my friend request. They were cool guys who were down-to-earth, especially Adam. He helped me carry me back to the shore through my worst days, no matter how bad they were. He helped me generate headlines for my stories. He heard me out whenever I had an issue with something or someone. He’s someone you should look up to.

Hockey has helped me in more ways than one.

No need for tears

February 14th was Valentine’s Day. The Giants’ pitchers and catches also reported to spring training. As a Barracuda reporter for Sports Radio Service, it was game night at the Shark Tank — and I was all pumped up.

Now you might think it’s ridiculous how I cover an American Hockey League team. The guys, most of whom are younger than me, come and go. I’m only 23, but I feel like a young mother in the locker room. The atmosphere is much more homey compared to the Sharks. But this is my second job in sports journalism. I currently work four jobs in the field.

Most days, I work in the mornings and eat lunch. Then, I binge watch television shows as I try to get extra rest before a night game (or two). I pick up my dinner in the building and set up my laptop and place my back pillow on my chair. I just do my thing and I finish all of my assignments on time. Like in less than 15 minutes after postgame.

I don’t mean to brag, but I’m one of the hardest working people you’ll ever meet. My work ethic is off the charts. I arrive early and won’t leave until the job is done. I acquired this particular trait from my father. Sure, we don’t have a great relationship, but I thank my father for pushing me to become the best person I can be. At least there’s a silver lining in my family life.

Deep down, things aren’t always as it seems. I may wear adorable dresses, customized bracelets and high heeled shoes on game days, but I’m not a perfect person. There are many things I wish I never happened to me . There are people I wish would apologize to me before they pass away, but that’s on them, so I won’t go in depth about grudges. Just know that you shouldn’t hold grudges against others. Swallow your pride and apologize even if you don’t think you did anything wrong. Life will be more smooth that way.

Tonight, I did my thing. You know, add to my Instagram story, tweet about the game, conduct postgame interviews with the players and coaches, and finish my story. As soon as I left the building, I breathed a sigh of relief. Not because I finished my work, but the weather was pretty nice outside. It was like 66 or 67 degrees.

Then, I took my phone out of my pocket and requested an Uber home. Luckily, my Uber arrived in less than five minutes. As soon as I got into the car, I felt welcome, like I normally do. I like riding Uber because the drivers are good people who hold great conversations with me along with the other passenger(s) in the car.

But it was Valentine’s Day, so the prices skyrocketed. They were off the wall. I had the urge to break down in tears because I was working. I didn’t drink and dance at the club. I was a media member who analyzed parts of the game most people wouldn’t have noticed. I was thinking to myself, “WHY ME?”

So I took my phone out of my pocket. I took a risk even though I wasn’t sure how things would go. I texted one of my employers and asked if I could get reimbursed for tonight’s ride, and about 15 minutes later, he texted me “yes.” I was relieved because I realized there were good people with big hearts out there who know what the everyday life looks like even if they’re not living like that. There was no need for tears in the first place.

Everything fell into place tonight. As a Christian, God does have a plan for you, even if you doubt things at first. Good things happen to great people. You don’t have to feel alone.

Despite the post-work mishap, my Valentine’s Day was amazing. I got to catch up with my close friends on the phone. I delivered many letters. I was happy for the first time in a while. Happiness is a virtue. I truly mean it.

You don’t deserve abuse, whether it’s mental or physical. You’re a good person who’s destined to achieve great things in life. You may not see instant results, but there will be people who will notice your personality and reward you for your hard work. Keep on trucking. Peace out.

Once again, the Barracuda put out the Heat

I haven’t written in my personal blog for a while due to an increased pile of assignments at work, but I hope you’ve been keeping tabs on my articles and features.

Tonight, I went to the Barracuda game, just to hangout. The atmosphere was louder than usual. Not sure if the excitement after Christmas still lingers or the fans were just pumped up. Anyways, it was an exciting game to watch!

This is a game recap, courtesy of the Barracuda’s PR staff.

The San Jose Barracuda (13-6-1-3) returned from their four-day holiday break and earned a 4-3 overtime victory against the Stockton Heat (16-7-2-1) on Monday night at SAP Center.

The victory was San Jose’s second straight against the first place Heat and wrapped up a seven-game home stand in which the Barracuda went 5-1-1.

San Jose waited just one minute and 25 seconds to light the lamp on Monday night. Barclay Goodrow‘s strong forecheck forced Heat defenseman Brett Kulak to misplay the puck, and Marcus Sorensen (6) swiped home his third goal in his last four games. Nikita Jevpalovs (3) made it 2-0 San Jose at 7:18 as he hit the right post from the top of the crease and followed it up with a flip shot past David Rittich. Mark Jankowski (7) cut the lead in half for Stockton as he whistled a wrister past Troy Grosenick from the left wing at 8:08.

In the second, Stockton’s Morgan Klimchuk (10) received a perfect back-door feed from Rasmus Andersson to even the score at 2-2. The Heat went on the power play twice in the frame, but Goodrow (10) raced past the Heat defense on the penalty kill and fended off Kulak before chipping the puck over the glove of Rittich at 12:20.

After Grosenick had left the game at 4:23 of the third due to an apparent illness, Austin Carroll (3) beat Mantas Armalis through the five-hole on the first shot Armalis faced to tie the game at 5:17. Joakim Ryan and Ryan Lomberg fell awkwardly into the end boards early in the third and then dropped the gloves at 16:05. Danny O’Regan nearly gave San Jose its lead back on the penalty kill, but Rittich denied the breakaway chance with a glove save.

In overtime, Ryan came out of the penalty box for fighting and found Nikolay Goldobin (5) streaking behind the Heat defense and the second-year pro went top shelf for the game-winner at 2:25.

Armalis earned the win making seven saves on eight shots in 17 minutes and 30 seconds of work. On the other end, Rittich suffered the OT loss after allowing four goals on 30 shots.

Three Stars:
1. Nikolay Goldobin (SJ: 2)
2. Morgan Klimchuk (STK: 2)
3. Barclay Goodrow (SJ: 1)

The Barracuda play their next three straight against the Condors, beginning on the road on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

San Jose returns home on Dec. 31 for a special Sober New Years and ‘Cuda and Canines 2017 calendar giveaway.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at SJBarracuda.com/tickets or by calling 408.999.5757.

Barracuda split weekend series with Rampage

Mantas Armalis stopped all 29 San Antonio Rampage shots to earn the San Jose Barracuda a 4-0 win at AT&T Center on Sunday afternoon.

In the win, both Danny O’Regan (five games) and Timo Meier (four games) extended their career-high point streaks.

The Barracuda waited seven seconds into their first power play to take a 1-0 lead as Kevin Labanc crossed a pass to Tim Heed, who whistled a one-time shot past Spencer Martin at 16:16 of the first. The Barracuda made it two-for-two on the man-advantage moments later as Meier fired a seeing-eye wrist shot through a Barclay Goodrow screen at 19:02 to make it 2-0 San Jose after 20 minutes.

In the second, Meier  netted another goal and his fourth in his last two games just 44 seconds into the second period as Labanc again showed off his passing touch by setting Meier up with a one-timer along the right side. San Jose killed off both of San Antonio’s power play tries and ended the frame up 3-0.

Veteran forward John McCarthy sealed San Jose’s third shutout win of the season by ripping a high-slot shot over the glove of Martin at 8:21 after Jacob Middleton centered the captain a pass.

Armalis’s (5-1-0-1) shutout win was the first of his American Hockey League career, fifth win of the season and second against the Rampage. Martin (9-6-0) suffered his first loss of his career against San Jose after allowing four goals on 33 shots.

Three Stars:

1. Mantas Armalis (SJ)
2. Timo Meier (SJ)

3. Kevin Labanc (SJ)

The Barracuda return home on Thursday, December 8 to face the Stockton Heat for the first time since Oct. 15. Thursday’s game marks the first of seven straight at home for San Jose.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at SJBarracuda.com/tickets or by calling 408.999.5757.

A few points along the line between sports and personal matters

The once-clear line between sports and current events is slowly disappearing in my eyes.

As you probably already know, I’m a reporter and writer for Inside Hockey, Sports Radio Service and SB Nation’s Mountain West Connection. I’m also a news editor at SFBay.ca. I kind of have a lot of duties when it comes to the journalism world. But I love what I do.

I grew up as a big sports fan and thought that was the only thing I could cover. Not anymore. I could talk about anything. Well, maybe not science or mathematics, but that’s okay. I learn about the basics of technology at the Tech Museum of Innovation.

There are some things that I’ve gone through in my life that I’ll never forget. Like all those times where some loved ones, threw me under the bus, and put the blame on me for their issues. I thought it was my fault until now. I realized things weren’t always about me.

I don’t regret anything I’ve done and anyone I’ve met in the past two months. As long as I knew what actually happened, I don’t care what anyone has to say, especially if he or she is a troll on social media.

Today, Matt Joyce agreed to a two-year, $11 million deal with the Oakland Athletics. I think he’ll fit in with the A’s. He’s a pretty good outfielder and put up decent numbers last season. However, only time will tell, so let’s discuss him later on.

I’m definitely focused on Green Bay Packers football and San Jose Sharks hockey. NFL and NHL are my top two favorite sports. I know that’s an odd combination, but those are my favorites. I’ve also been keeping tabs on the Golden State Warriors, but I haven’t had the chance to watch many games so far this season because of work.

Let’s get back to the point. Sometimes, you just meet people for a reason, and you can’t prevent such situations from happening. It’s either a blessing or a lesson.

So don’t feel ashamed of yourself for doing what you have to do.

Barracuda power past Reign

The San Jose Barracuda (7-5-0-2) used two Adam Helewka and Tim Heed goals to top the Ontario Reign 5-2 on Saturday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
The win moved the Barracuda to 2-0 against the Reign on the year and 2-0 in Ontario after winning just one game in the building in six attempts last season. San Jose had five skaters with two or more points in the win.
Mantas Armalis (4-1-1) stopped 22 shots after a 31 save performance the night before to earn his first back-to-back wins of the year.
Sam Herr opened up the scoring in the first period for Ontario just a minute and 36 seconds in as he rifled a high-slot shot over the glove of Armalis. The Barracuda evened up the score on the only power play as Heed walked the blue line and ringed shot off the crossbar and into the net at 13:25.
In the second period, Helewka made it 2-for-2 on the power play and gave the Barracuda its first lead as he ripped a shot from the slot past Reign goaltender Jack Campbell after he had made the initial save off Danny O’Regan. O’Regan would find the back of the net at 11:27 and extend the Barracuda lead to 3-1 as he finished off Timo Meier‘s goal-bid that was stopped by the left pad of Campbell. San Jose killed off the Reign’s only man-advantage of the period, and Armalis was tremendous making nine saves, including a right pad robbery on Adrian Kempe.
San Jose took a three-goal lead in the final frame on Heed’s second of the game after the Swedish blue-liner entered the offensive zone, dropped a pass for O’Regan who shot it on net while Heed tipped the puck passed Campbell as he crossed his face at 11:07.

Andrew Crescenzi redirected a shot past Armalis 47 seconds later, but Helewka put the game away after he finished off a 2-on-1 with Rourke Chartier at 17:46 to make it 5-2.

Campbell (3-2-1) suffered the loss, allowing five goals on 28 shots.
The Barracuda continue their three-game road trip as they travel back to the Lone Star State for a pair of games against the San Antonio Rampage on December 3 and 4.

Mantas Armalis makes 31 saves in Barracuda win

Mantas Armalis stopped 31 shots to lead the San Jose Barracuda (6-5-0-2) to a 4-1 win over the Bakersfield Condors (6-7-0-0) on Friday night at SAP Center in front of a season-high 6,303 fans.

San Jose and Bakersfield each put nine shots on net in the first, but David Musil‘s perfectly placed high-slot wrister at 8:59 was the difference as the Condors skated out to a 1-0 lead in the opening period.

In the second period, Colin Blackwell whipped his first professional goal past Condors goaltender Laurent Brossoit as he streaked down the right wing at 8:48.

“Today we did a better job of getting bodies into the net,” Blackwell said. “We’ve had over 40 shots in the last couple of games, but not too many bodies. . .Tonight, we got bodies in front of the net, and when that happens, chaos kind of infuses.”

The Barracuda took control in the third period.

Barclay Goodrow began the scoring just a minute and 27 seconds into the frame after he had redirected a Julius Bergman shot from the point on the power play. Danny O’Regan extended San Jose’s lead with a brilliant move through the Bakersfield defense before beating Brossoit through the five-hole at 13:06. Timo Meier sealed the victory with an empty-net goal at 19:11.

Armalis (3-1-0-1) earned his first win in his third game against the Condors. Brossoit (6-3-0-0) suffered the loss by allowing three goals on 36 shots.

“I guess I like playing here,” Armalis said, drawing laughter from the media. “Sometimes, it’s simple.”

“He did a good job and denied all of that,” Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer said on the saves by Armalis.

The Barracuda go back on the road on Saturday as they take on the Ontario Reign at Citizens Business Bank Arena and then they will battle the San Antonio Rampage the following weekend in San Antonio on Dec. 3 and 4.

Barracuda wrap up road trip with 3-1 loss to Condors

The San Jose Barracuda posted 38 shots on Tuesday night, but Laurent Brossoit was impressive, making 37 saves to guide the Bakersfield Condors to a 3-1 win at Rabobank Arena.

The loss wrapped up San Jose’s six-game road trip in which they went 2-3-0-1.

In the opening frame, shots were 12-to-9 for San Jose, but neither team was able to find the back of the net. Unfortunately, Troy Grosenick had to leave the game after suffering an apparent right leg injury. Grosenick made five saves and lasted just nine minutes and 45 seconds before suffering the injury. Mantas Armalis finished off the period and made four saves to hold it to a scoreless first.

Bakersfield’s Taylor Beck waited just 27 seconds to break the deadlock in the second frame as the rookie from St. Cloud State went end-to-end and beat Armalis down the right wing with a quick snap shot that snuck over Armalis’s left pad and under his glove. Adam Helewka then potted his first pro goal to tie the game at 5:13 after the right wing was able to bat the puck out of midair and over Brossoit’s left pad.

With the game up for grabs in the third, Bakersfield’s Josh Currie raced down the ice on a 2-on-1 and went top shelf short side at 13:22 to give the Condors the lead and eventually the win. Ryan Hamilton sealed the game with two seconds left with an empty-netter to make it 3-1.

Armalis (2-1-0-1) suffered his first regulation loss and the second loss against Bakersfield, allowing two goals on 20 shots. Brossoit (3-5-0-0) was Bakersfield’s x-factor as he picked up his third win of the year.

After a six-game road trip, the Barracuda return home on Friday, Nov. 25 after a six-game road trip. San Jose will welcome in the Condors for Star Wars Night at SAP Center, starting at 6 p.m.

Friday will be the first Freebie Friday of the season, which includes 2-for-1 tickets, 2-for-1 hot dogs and $5 beers.

Fans are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of San Clara and San Mateo County.

For tickets go to sjbarracuda.com/tickets or call 408.999.5757.

Information for Friday’s Barracuda game

The San Jose Barracuda are set for their annual Star Wars Night at SAP Center on Friday, Nov. 25 against the Bakersfield Condors.

The Barracuda are bringing Stars Wars to life and will be wearing specialty stormtrooper jerseys. Also, 20 costume characters will be in attendance.

The game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off during an in-game silent auction. Selected jerseys will be on eBay for fans to bid on starting on Saturday at 5 p.m. There will also be an in-game raffle with selected jerseys being raffled off during Friday’s game.

Frenzy’s fun zone will be equipped with a picture zone. Fans are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters. The five best costumes will be selected and the crowd will choose the winner.

Friday is also the first Freebie Friday of the season, which includes $5 beers, 2-for-1 tickets, and 2-for-1 hot dogs.

The Barracuda are asking fans to bring non-perishable food items, which will be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo County. Anyone that donates an item will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win in-game prizes, including a game-issued stormtrooper jersey.

Click here for auction rules and details

A portion of the proceeds from the jersey auction will be donated to Vet Tix (@VetTix) which provides tickets to vets for events which reduces stress, strengthens family bonds, builds life-long memories and encourages service members and veterans to stay engaged with local communities and American life.

The Barracuda host the Condors this Friday at 6:00 pm PST.

Barracuda on rebound after getting swept by Gulls

The San Jose Barracuda (5-4-0-2) put 37 shots on net, but failed to score.

The San Diego Gulls (6-5-1-0) earned a 4-0 shutout win Saturday night at Valley View Casino Center.

Gulls goalie Matt Hackett made 37 saves to earn his first shutout of the year.

Hackett (2-3-0) picked up his second win, fifth professional shutout, and San Diego’s fourth straight victory in the dominant performance.

Hackett turned in a 17-save first period, and the Gulls netted a pair of goals to take a 2-0 first period lead. Zac Larraza opened the scoring after Jeff Schultz‘s shot bounced off the end boards and onto the stick of Larraza, who guided the puck into the open net at 7:30. Corey Tropp then made it 2-0 when he wristed a rebound over Sharks goalie Troy Grosenick‘s left pad at 17:12 from below the right circle.
In the second, Hackett continued his stellar night by making 12 saves to hold San Jose off the board. Austen Brassard pushed San Diego’s lead to 3-0 at 11:12 after he freed the puck loose on a hard forecheck and then backhanded a shot under Grosenick’s right pad from the top of the crease.
All San Jose comeback attempts were shut down in the third when Kalle Kossila made it 4-0 Gulls at 6:38. After the initial shot had been stopped by Grosenick, Kossila was able to score from close range.
Grosenick (3-4-1) suffered the loss after allowing four goals on 21 shots.
The Barracuda continue their six-game road trip with a game against the Bakersfield Condors on Nov. 22.