By: Joe Lami
SAN JOSE, Calif.—Despite being outshot 36-15, the San Jose Barracuda were able to defeat the Ontario Reign 3-2 on Saturday night at SAP Center at San Jose. With the win, the Barracuda tie up the Pacific Division Semi-Final playoff at one game a piece in the best of five series.
Even though, the Reign had more than double the amount of shots as the Barracuda, the game seemed really tight with Ontario not getting great chances. “It was like a chess match out there, not a lot of chances on both sides. They did outshoot us, but quality wise they had a few good ones, but Dell was good when he needed to be and we scored when we needed to,” said Barracuda coach, Roy Sommer.
After battling deflections off in the first period, Reign goaltender Peter Budaj finally let one through after Ryan Carpenter got a piece of a Joakim Ryan shot to give San Jose’s first goal at 3:58 of the second period.
The Barracuda added to their lead ten minutes later, as captain Bryan Lerg showed off his strength with a beautiful power move coming in off the right boards and crashing the net hard, sneaking the puck past Budaj to make it 2-0. Ryan picked up his second assist of the game and ‘Cuda goaltender Aaron Dell earned his second assist of the series helping break out the play. “I beat the D wide, buried the shoulder and went to the far post to see what happens,” said Lerg.
Ontario made it interesting, opening up the scoring just 2:40 into the third period. Kurtis MacDermid picked up his second goal of the series on a rocket wrist shot from the right point. Dell didn’t even have a chance at making the save.
San Jose scored the game winning goal at 8:23 after a beautiful give and goal between Nikolay Goldobin and Jeremy Langlois in which Langlois fed it cross crease for an easy tap in for Goldobin. Ryan picked up the secondary assist, earning his third point of the night. “That’s one of those things you work on in practice. You kick it wide and have a middle lane drive. It’s good when it works out,” added Langlois.
After pulling their goalie with two minutes remaining in the game, Ontario used it to their advantage tallying their second goal with .35 seconds remaining. Jonny Brodzinski scored his second of the series after a beautiful no-look backhand pass from Nick Dowd on the side wall for an easy tap in. However, it would be too little too late, as San Jose was able to close out the rest of the game to secure the victory.
The first round series continues on Thursday in Ontario with game three.