Photo credit: @sjbarracuda
By Marko Ukalovic
The San Diego Gulls continued their dominance over the San Jose Barracuda as they scored three unanswered goals to hang on for a 4-3 victory on Friday evening at Pechanga Arena. It was San Diego’s fifth win in a row and fourth in a row over San Jose.
San Jose (19-7-1-3) drew first blood when Dylan Gambrell set up Vincent Praplan late in the first period. Praplan beat Gulls goalie Kevin Boyle (12-5-0) for his fourth goal of the season at the 16:28 mark. Kyle Wood received the secondary assist.
San Diego (16-11-1-3) tied it up with 11 seconds left in the opening frame. Maxim Letunov lost the puck in the Gulls zone when he blew a tire. It led to a 2-on-1 odd man rush where Troy Terry finished off a nice give-and-go with Joe Blandisi as he snapped home the puck past Cuda goalie Josef Korenar (13-2-1) for his 13th goal of the season. He now has six points in five games against San Jose.
Korenar stopped Ben Thomson on a break away half way through the second period.
Adam Cracknell gave the Gulls the lead when he was set up with a pretty touch pass from Chase De Leo on the left wing and snapped a wrister past Korenar for his fourth goal of the season at the 14:52 mark. Thomson received the secondary assist.
Terry gave San Diego a two-goal cushion with second goal of the night to open the third period. Once again, Blandisi fed a wide-open Terry, skated in from his left to his right and slid the puck past the five-hole of Korenar for his 14th goal of the season at the 1:32 mark. Terry now has five goals in five games against San Jose.
Gambrell gave life to San Jose with a power play goal. Nick DeSimone fed a pass over to the point to Gambrell who blasted a shot off the goal post into the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season at the 13:16 mark. With the goal, Gambrell is currently on a six-game point streak.
Blandisi put the game away with a power play goal late in the period. Andrej Sustr set up Blandisi, who had a three-point night, scored his seventh goal of the season at the 16:21 mark. Trevor Murphy received the secondary assist.
Jon Martin completed the scoring with a power play goal right as the horn sounded to end the game. Martin scored his fifth goal of the season at the 19:59 mark. Alex True and Gambrell received assists.
Boyle made 27 saves on 30 shots to earn his seventh victory in a row. Korenar made 22 saves on 26 saves in suffering only his second regulation loss of the season.
GAME NOTES: San Jose was 2/3 on the power play. San Diego was 1/4.
Defenseman Jacob Middleton was called up to the San Jose Sharks earlier in the day to help fill a roster position with Radim Simek out with an upper body injury.
Francis Perron was out of the lineup due to a lower body injury. He will miss the rest of the road trip this weekend.
Perron, Middleton and Korenar will represent the Cuda at the 2019 AHL All-Star Game as they were selected to the Pacific Division team earlier this week. The game will be played in Springfield, Massachusetts on January 28th.
The announced attendance was 10,253.
UP NEXT: The Barracuda conclude their road trip up in Ontario as they take on the Reign on Saturday, January 5 at 6:00 pm at Citizens Bank Arena.