Photo credit: @sjbarracuda
By Marko Ukalovic
The combination of the best power play in the AHL and a red-hot goalie were too much for the San Jose Barracuda to handle as they got blown out by the San Diego Gulls 5-0 loss on Friday night at the Valley View Casino Center.
San Diego raced out to a quick start with Jared Boll scoring his first goal of the season at 5:17 of the first period when he was able to take a pass from Dennis Rasmussen and snapped a wrist shot past the five-hole of Cuda goalie Parker Gahagen (2-2).
Gulls goalie Reto Berra (7-4-0) frustrated San Jose throughout the night. His 46 saves were good enough for his first shut out of his season. Some of his highlights included, stopping Cuda forward Danny O’Reagan’s blast late in the first period and making back to back saves while the Cuda were on the power play in the second period.
San Jose couldn’t stop San Diego’s power play all night as the Gulls went 4/5. San Diego’s first power play tally came with 0.1 seconds left in the first period when forward Kalle Kossila was able to beat the buzzer with a wrist shot past Gahagen after Andy Welinski found him all alone in front of the crease that Kossila was able to tip home for his ninth goal of the season to put San Diego up 2-0 heading into the first intermission.
In the second period, the Barracuda were the recipients of some bad luck when defenseman Jacob Middleton’s clearing attempt on the penalty kill deflected off of the skate of San Diego’s Joe Blandisi that went past the five-hole of Gahagen for an unassisted power play goal. It was Blandisi’s fourth goal of the season.
San Jose’s frustration boiled over in the second period when Jared Boll and Emerson Clark got into fisticuffs just 27 seconds after Blandisi’s goal. Brandon Bollig and Corey Tropp also had a spirited fight with five minutes left in the period.
San Jose had a chance to get back into the game when Blandisi went into the sin bin with a four minute double minor for high sticking half way through the second. However they couldn’t capitalize thanks to Berra’s great goaltending. The Cuda’s anemic power play went 0/6 on the night. They’re now 0 in their last 22.
Eric Fehr, on loan from the Toronto Maple Leafs, scored the Gulls’ third power play goal at the 7:48 mark of the third period. It was his 10th goal of the season. Kossila and Marcus Pettersson assisted. Sam Carrick completed the scoring with his sixth goal and the Gulls’ fourth power play goal of the night at the 12:03 mark. Fehr and Rasmussen received assists.
Gahagen finished the evening with 21 saves on 26 shots.
GAME NOTES: San Jose gave up four power play goals in a game for the first time in their three year history. They out shot the Gulls 21-4 in the third period.
With the win, San Diego jumped ahead of San Jose in the Pacific Division with 34 points compared to San Jose’s 33 points.
UP NEXT: The Barracuda take on the Gulls once again tomorrow night at 7 pm PT from Valley View Casino Center.