Barracuda take down Wild 3-2 in shootout

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

Dylan Gambrell has been enjoying his time while he’s been with the San Jose Barracuda. He was responsible for all the offense, including the game-winning goal in the shootout, in a 3-2 shootout win over the Iowa Wild on Friday evening at Wells Fargo Center. The Cuda split the two-game series with the Minnesota Wild’s AHL affiliate.

It was a mini-miracle the game reached the shootout as San Jose was short-handed for the majority of overtime. Alex True was called for a double-minor for high-sticking with 14 seconds left in the third period. Then at the 1:21 mark of the extra period, the Cuda were called for too many men, which gave Iowa two minutes of five-on-three play, but the penalty kill led by Cuda goalie Josef Korenar hindered Iowa’s attack.

San Jose (29-13-2-4) drew first blood in the first 29 seconds to start the game. Dylan Gambrell scored in his second straight game. beat Wild goalie Kaapo Khakonen (16-9-7) for his 13th goal of the season. Kyle Wood and Jeffery Viel were credited with assists.

Iowa (28-16-6-5) evened up the game on the power play. Kyle Rau scored his 16th goal of the season (and team-leading 11th power play goal) at the 13:44 mark just 12 seconds after Cavan Fitzgerald went to the sin-bin for interference. Gerald Mayhew and Cal O’Reilly received assists.

The Wild outshot the Cuda 10-6 in the opening frame.

Iowa didn’t waste time to take a 2-1 lead to start the second period. Brennan Menell set up Matt Read and his shot beat Korenar (18-5-1) for his 15th goal of the season at the :55 mark. Read has scored in back to back games.

The Cuda didn’t get their first shot on goal in the middle frame until almost five minutes in. TJ Hensick had the puck roll of his stick on a breakway. His centering pass to Francis Perron for a point-blank chance was stopped by Khakonen.

Gambrell scored the equalizer for San Jose with his second goal of the night. Gambrell was able to whack a loose puck in mid-air, as he turned his body in one motion, over the left pad of Khakoen for his 14th goal of the season at the 14:04 mark. Captain John McCarthy and Jacob Middleton were credited with assists.

Read had a chance to give the Wild the lead early in the third period when he went in on a short-handed breakaway–only to have Korenar kick swat his shot.

Rourke Chartier had a chance to give the Cuda a lead with over four minutes left in the third period as he rifled a shot off of the post.

Korenar, who stopped all three attempts in the shootout (Sam Anas, Read and O’Reilly), made 24 saves on 26 shots to earn his 17th victory. Khakonen stopped 22 of the 24 saves he faced in suffering the defeat.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/2 on the power play. Iowa was 1/4.

It was the third multi-goal game for Gambrell this season. The rookie forward has nine points in his last five games (5G, 4A).

Jayden Halbgewachs returned to the lineup for San Jose.

Before the game, San Jose traded forward Vincent Praplan to the Florida Panthers for future considerations. Praplan is expected to report to Florida’s AHL affiliate the Springfield Thunderbirds.

San Jose is now 2-4 in shootouts this season.

The announced attendance was 12,936.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda conclude their three-game road trip as they take on their NorCal rival Stockton Heat on Sunday at 5:00 pm at Stockton Arena.

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