Barracuda even series with big 5-1 win over Gulls in Game 2

May 6, 2017

AHL, San Jose Barracuda

Photo credit: San Jose Barracuda Twitter (@sjbarracuda)

Barracuda even series 1-1 with big 5-1 win over Gulls 5-1 in Game 2

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Barracuda crushed the San Diego Gulls 5-1 in Game 2 at SAP Center on Saturday night.

The Barracuda looked to even their best-of-seven series with the Gulls after a 3-2 overtime loss on Friday night in the first game of the Pacific Division Final. During the regular season, San Jose went 5-3-1-1 against San Diego and 5-0 at SAP Center.

The Barracuda took an early 1-0 lead just 4:31 into the opening period. Timo Meier carried the puck into the zone and Nick DeSimone blasted it home for his first goal of the playoffs.

“We tried to get a break out there and Timo (Meier) came in,” DeSimone recalled. “He tried to take a backhander, but it got blocked and I was just following it up. I tried to get it out of break Scott Sabourin went to the box after receiving a penalty for goaltender inference at 14:45.

The Barracuda made it a 2-0 game on the man advantage at 12:47 of the period. Ryan Carpenter fired a shot far side from the faceoff spot for a power-play goal and his sixth of the playoffs.

The Barracuda outshot the Gulls 14-12 and led 2-0 after 20 minutes of play.

Meier recorded his second assist of the game as he sent a pass to Buddy Robinson, who fired it past Jhonas Enroth for his fourth goal of the playoffs, extending the Barracuda’s lead to 3-0 just 1:10 into the second period.

The Gulls ended the Barracuda’s shutout bid at 16:07. Sam Carrick scored his second goal of the playoffs. Carrick’s shot went through traffic and into the net past a seemingly oblivious Troy Grosenick who was unable to locate the puck.

Carrick was called for hooking with 5:31 left in the period. Adam Helewka put the puck in the net for a power-play goal — his first of the playoffs — but the play was under review. The officials confirmed it was a good goal and the Barracuda expanded their lead to 4-1 with 3:45 left.

“Special teams are important,” defenseman Julius Bergman said. “We got the win tonight, but of course, the PK (penalty kill) is also important. You win games with special teams.”

Grosenick made an incredible glove save to block a promising shot by the Gulls in the final seconds of the period.

The Barracuda outshot the Gulls 28-18 and brought a 4-1 lead to the locker room after 40 minutes of play.

The Barracuda increased their lead to 5-1 just 40 seconds into the third period. Barclay Goodrow collected a pass from Ryan Carpenter, skated down the slot and deposited the puck into the net for his second goal of the playoffs.

The action intensified in the period as two scuffles occurred. First, Marcus Sorensen dropped the gloves with Tyler Morley. As a result, both players received roughing penalties. Second, Carrick and Mirco Mueller were involved in a fight. Carrick was called for slashing while Mueller sat in the box for roughing.

The Barracuda had this game from start to finish. They beat the Gulls 5-1. Grosenick finished with 31 saves for San Jose. Enroth made 30 saves in a losing effort for San Diego.

“They got home ice from us, so we gotta go down there and win a couple of games,” head coach Roy Sommer responded when asked about the biggest challenges about playoff road games. “It’s a tough building to play in. They play different down there than they play up here. We’ve had really good success against them this year at home and even last year, but down there, we haven’t had a lot so we’re gonna have to try…It’s the playoffs so the guys are ready. We’ll take the challenge down there.”

During the regular season, three of the Barracuda’s five wins over the Gulls at home came through the shutout and San Jose outscored San Diego 15-4 in those five games. The Barracuda possessed the AHL’s best home winning percentage during the regular season and are 3-3 all-time at home during the playoffs.

Ryan Carpenter continued his red-hot postseason, netting his AHL leading fifth goal on Friday. He’s also first in points and plus-minus. He has 13 points, six penalty minutes and a plus-12 rating in 14 Calder Cup playoff games. He recorded four points in seven games against the Gulls during the regular season.

During the regular season, the Barracuda were first in shorthanded goals with 14 and finished with the eighth-best penalty kill at 83.7%. San Jose’s power play went just 1-for-22 in round one at 4.5%, but they scored a pair of short-handed goals including a game-winner down a man in a 2-1 overtime win in a decisive game five against the Stockton Heat on Tuesday night.

Buddy Robinson contributed to the Barracuda’s success in the first round. He totaled five points, two penalty minutes and a plus-four rating in five games. After being acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators in January, he collected 19 points, 53 penalty minutes and a plus-five rating in 33 games rating after recording just 12 points, 18 penalty minutes and a plus-four rating in 33 games with the Binghamton Senators. Prior to 2017, he totaled zero points in 6 career Calder Cup playoff games.

Troy Grosenick submitted a career regular season. He went 30-10-7 and accumulated 10 shutouts along with a 2.04 goals-against average and .926 save percentage and went on to receive the Baz Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s most outstanding goaltender. He went 5-3-1 with a 2.46 goals-against, .914 save percentage and three shutouts in 10 games played against the Gulls. He’s 4-3 with a 2.74 goals-against and a .897 save percentage in nine career Calder Cup playoff games.

Zack Stortini is by far the Barracuda’s most experienced postseason player. He skated in 61 Calder Cup playoff games over his 12-year career. He won a Calder Cup with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2007.

Up Next
The best-of-seven series will shift to Valley View Casino Center for Game 3 Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. PST on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.

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