San Jose Barracuda Wednesday game wrap: Jevpalovs and Helewka goals help Cuda for sixth straight win 2-1 over San Diego

February 9, 2017

AHL, San Jose Barracuda photo: San Deigo Gulls center Chris Wagner (21) tries to shovel the puck past San Jose Barracuda goaltender Tony Grosenick (1) on Wednesday night at SAP Center

SAN JOSE— The San Jose Barracuda beat the San Diego Gulls 2-1 at SAP Center Wednesday night.

After combating a lengthy seven-game road trip, the Barracuda returned to San Jose to host the Gulls in a Pacific Division rivalry match.

Defense kept the Barracuda in the game as shots were even at seven apiece at 13:51 of the first period. On the fast break, Adam Helewka found the crease and a lack of defense allowed him to fire the slap shot stick side past Jhonas Enroth for an unassisted goal and his 11th of the season, giving his team a 1-0 lead.

“We haven’t had good starts lately,” Helewka said when asked about the importance of getting off to a good start. “We knew they (Gulls) kind of move fast, so we know how big it was to have a big and fast start.”

The Gulls received more scoring chances, edging the Barracuda in shots 11-9, but San Jose held a 1-0 lead over San Diego after 20 minutes.

As Nikita Jevpalovs stood at the doorstep, he picked up a pass from Tim Heed and stuffed the puck through traffic to give the Barracuda a 2-0 lead just 1:29 into the second period.

Jevpalovs recalled: “That was a good forecheck by the guys…Kind of a lucky bounce for me.”

Again, good defense kept the Barracuda in the game. Despite being outshot by the Gulls 24-22, San Jose carried a 2-0 lead to the locker room after 40 minutes.

The Gulls applied some pressure on the Barracuda in the third period.

A slip in the Barracuda defense allowed the Gulls to cut the lead in half at 12:26. Shortly after Nic Kerdiles was called for tripping, Chris Wagner ruined Troy Grosenick’s shutout bid with a short-handed goal for his eighth of the season.

The Barracuda (25-11-1-3) the Gulls (24-13-2-2) by a score of 2-1 for their sixth straight win. Grosenick finished with 38 saves in a San Jose victory.

“We treat every game the same,” Grosenick said. “It doesn’t matter if we’re at home or on the road. We have to keep the same identity, work hard and play fast.”

Enroth made 26 saves in a losing effort for San Diego.

“The first period was kind of like a chess match,” Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer commented. “There wasn’t a lot going on. We turned the puck over to the neutral zone, Grosenick made some big saves and then (Adam) Helewka put us ahead, but there wasn’t a lot going on in the first (period)…It started picking up later in the second period when both teams started going at it. Bottom line is, our goalie (Grosenick) was better than theirs (Gulls’ Enroth).”

The Barracuda head to Bakersfield to take on the Condors (19-18-4-1) at 6 p.m. Saturday. You can tune into the game on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.





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