By: Joe Lami
SAN JOSE, Calif.–The San Jose Barracuda (2-1-1) returned to SAP Center at San Jose on Wednesday night coming off of two straight road wins. They were beaten by the San Diego Gulls (3-0) 3-2 in the shootout after San Diego came back from a two-goal deficit.
San Jose got on the board early, as 5:11 into the contest, captain and recently reassigned from the Sharks Bryan Lerg slapped a rebound past Gulls’ keeper John Gibson. Jeremy Langlois and Melker Karlsson picked up the helpers. Karlsson played in his first game of the season, as the San Jose Sharks’ prospect has started his road back from injury.
Karlsson still has a little more to go until he’s fully ready for his return to the NHL. “I felt pretty good in the beginning of the game, but my condition is not where it should be. I’ve only done two practices but in my game, I need the energy for it to work” added Karlsson. Barracuda coach Roy Sommer added, “I thought his game shape was so-so. He was a little less in the second and then more in the third, but it’s expected when he hasn’t had a training camp”.
The Barracuda added to their league with a short-handed tally at the 18:40 mark of the first period. The play was created by Lerg, who created himself a breakaway. He was stuffed by Gibson on the initial shot, but Scott Timmins followed to roof home the rebound.
Lerg disappointed from being sent down from the big club this morning commented on his game, “I was going to work hard and we’re looking for the win at home. We came out very strong. It was anyone’s game going into the 3-on-3 and shootout”. Sommer added, “I think the (San Jose) coaches were here tonight, so they’re going to probably pluck the best player if they need one for tomorrow”.
San Diego started their comeback on a fluky goal with only six seconds left in the first period. Brandon Montour put one towards the net from the right point, and it was tipped off of the stick of Barracuda defenseman Mark Cundari and into the net to make it 2-1 at the end of the first.
San Diego used the late period goal momentum and carried it into the second as tied the game on their second power-play goal of the night. Harry Zolnierczyk tipped a Shea Theodore shot past Troy Grosenick to tie things at the 6:26 mark. After being outshot in the first 12-5, San Diego came back and outshot the ‘Cuda 14-6 during the second.
The Gulls had the power play advantage all night, as they finished with five chances and capitalized on two of them. The Barracuda only saw two power plays on Wednesday.
The third period and 3-on-3 overtime was anyone’s game, as it went back and forth. Nikolay Goldobin showed off his incredible skill during the overtime, as he dangled before trying a backhander from the right circle that was stopped by Gibson. Lerg commented on the 3-on-3, “I love it. It’s great for the fans and fun for the players. We should work on it in practice a little more. It works great for Goldobin; that’s his style. A lot of open ice for him”.
San Diego earned the shootout win with goals from Stefan Noesen and Nick Ritchie while Gibson stopped both Lerg and Goldobin. The Barracuda return to action on Friday night at SAP Center at San Jose, where they finish their two-game set with the Gulls.