Photo credit: @sjbarracuda
By Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE, Calif. — For the second game in a row the San Jose Barracuda couldn’t hold a third period lead and it cost them dearly as the Tucson Roadrunners used a four-goal outburst to defeat San Jose 5-3 on Sunday afternoon at SAP Center.
It was the most goals San Jose has given up in the third period this season as they have lost two games in a row.
San Jose (4-4-0-1) jumped out to a fast start when Joel Kellman sent a pass over to Thomas Gregoire, whose shot was initially saved by Roadrunners goalie Adin Hill. The rebound jumped out into the middle of the crease where Joachim Blichfeld crashed in and cleaned up the rebound for his third goal of the season just 38 seconds into the game. It was the fastest goal to open a game for the ‘Cuda this season.
The ‘Cuda doubled its lead nine minutes later on the power play when Lean Bergmann bulldozed his way into the Roadrunner zone and had the puck roll over onto the stick of Danil Yurtaykin. The Russian forward then fed a wide open Anti Suomela in the slot and he fired a wrist shot past Hill for his first goal (and first point) of the season at the 9:35 mark.
Tucson (8-3-0-0) cut the lead in the half on the power play late in the second period on what would be the start of four unanswered goals when Robbie Russo sent a pass over to Michael Bunting and he fired it home past ‘Cuda goalie Andrew Shortridge for his second goal of the season at the 17:11 mark.
“We take the penalty late in the second and they score on that, it’s 2-1,” said ‘Cuda head coach Roy Sommer. “We gave life to a team that was lifeless really.”
The Roadrunners dominated the third period with three straight goals. First, Lane Pederson scored his ninth goal of the season while Tucscon was on the power play at the 2:37 mark. Bunting and Jordan Gross received assists.
Then less than two minutes later, former ‘Cuda forward Jon Martin, who signed with Tucscon in the offseason, scored his third goal of the season and first against his old club from Jeremy Gregoire and Nate Schnarr at the 4:28 mark.
Brayden Burke scored Tucson’s third power play goal of the contest at the 11:12 mark of the final period with Hudson Fasching and Kyle Capobianco receiving assists on the goal.
“Unfortunately the game is 60 minutes and we only played 40 of it,” said Sommer.
The ‘Cuda cut the deficit to a one-goal game less than minute later when Radim Simek sent a cross ice pass over to Gregorie at the right point. Gregoire then threw a wrist shot toward the net that went past Hill, who was screened on the play by his own defenseman Cam Dineen, for his first goal of the season at the 12:20 mark. Bergmann was credited with the secondary assist.
Simek has registered points in his two games since the San Jose Sharks reassigned him for his conditioning rehab.
But that was as close as San Jose would get as Tucson’s Gregoire sealed the deal with a short-handed empty-net goal at the 18:46 mark. It was the center’s first goal of the season.
Hill finished 34 saves on 37 shots to earn the victory. Shortridge allowed four goals on 22 shots in suffering the loss.
GAMES NOTES: San Jose was 1/4 on the power play. Tucson finished 3/6.
Bergmann notched his first multi-assist game of his AHL career.
UP NEXT: The Barracuda travel down to Bakersfield to take on the Condors on Saturday, November 9 at 7:00 pm at the Rabobank Arena.