Barracuda power past Eagles 7-2, snap two game skid

sjbarracuda.com photo: The score says it all as the San Jose Barracuda broke it wide open against the visiting Colorado Eagles at SAP Center on Wednesday night

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif- The San Jose Barracuda’s power play had been colder than an afternoon kickoff in December at Lambeau Field. It warmed up at the right time as San Jose scored three unaswered goals, two on the power play, in the second period and then put the game away with four unaswered in the third period to defeat the Colorado Eagles 7-2 on Wednesday evening at SAP Center.

With the win, the ‘Cuda snapped a two game losing streak and concluded their four-game homestand with a 2-2 record. Colorado is 2-3 in its last five games.

Colorado (19-12-3-1) drew first blood late in the first period. A.J. Greer centered a pass from beind the net over to the right slot where Shane Bowers skated in and snapped a wrist side to the short side past ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar for his seventh goal at the 13:42 mark. Sheldon Dries received the secondary assist and leads the Eagles in points with 26.

The Eagles could have been up 3-0 after the opening 20 minutes as Michael Joly hit the post after a chance off a turnover. And Martin Kraut’s short-handed breakaway chance ended with him shooting the puck to wide left of the net.

San Jose (13-20-0-2) had one good chance on the power play to even the score from Noah Gregor who skated in a mini-breakaway. His backhand shot was gloved by Eagles goalie Adam Werner. The ‘Cuda outshot Colorado 14-7.

The Barracuda scored the equalizer to open up the second period. Dylan Gambrell poked the puck over to Noah Gregor in the ‘Cuda zone. Gregor then flashed his speed as he raced down the ice and around Eagles defenseman Jacob MacDonald. The Edmonton native skated in on Werner and chipped the puck top-shelf for his sixth goal of the season at the 3:50 mark.

San Jose gained its first lead on their third power play opportunity with a pretty tic-tac-toe goal. Trevor Carrick sent a pass from the point over to the right to Maxim Letunov and he quickly sent a cross ice pass over to the left slot where Jayden Halbegwchas  sniped it past Werner for his 13th goal of the season at the 8:19 mark. The power play tally snapped an 0/13 skid with the man advantage for the ‘Cuda.

“We talked about getting to the net a little more. I thought we did that tonight in the second and third (periods). Other than that I just liked our energy. I was happy with our effort,” said co-head coach Jimmy Bonneau.

The Barracuda made the Eagles pay for their fourth trip to the sinbin. A failed clearing attempt riccocet over to a wide open Carrick at the point. The ‘Cuda defenseman blasted a rocket past Werner on the far side for his eighth goal of the season at the 10:11 mark.

“It’s weird. It’s just been coming in waves for me this season,” said Carrick regarding scoring goals in back-to-back games and three in his last five. “Haven’t really changed a whole lot. Just been throwing the puck at net and they just happen to be going in.”

Colorado cut the deficit to a one-goal game in the first five minutes of the third period. T.J Tynan skated into the ‘Cuda zone near the right boards. He fed a drop pass back to the point where Mark Alt wired a slapshot past Korenar for his third goal of the season at the 4:09 mark.

San Jose regained their two-goal lead over two minutes later. Jacob Middleton sent a long pass from inside his own zone up to Jeffery Viel that sprung Viel on a breakaway. He skated in getting hooked on a delayed penalty call and sneaked through a shot past the 5-hole of Werner for his sixth goal of the season at the 6:26 mark.

The ‘Cuda blew open the game when Evan Weinger sent Halbgewachs on a breakaway. The 5’9″ foward made a quick move before burying the puck top-shelf in the upper left corner for his team-leading 14th goal and second of the game at the 9:56 mark.

Halbgewachs surpassed his career mark in goals in just 36 games. He ended his rookie campaign with 13 last season.

“That’s kind of my job. I gotta find ways to score each and every game. The goal for me right now is to find little ways to produce and make things happen offensively on the ice as well as play sound defensively,” said Halbgewachs.

San Jose scored the touchdown when a Nick DeSimone shot went wide of the net. Nick Meloche pinched down from the point and threw the puck into the middle of the crease where a crashing Alex True tapped the puck past Werner for his 11th goal of the season at the 13:50 mark.

The Barracuda closed out the scoring 40 seconds later. A faceoff win by Gambrell back to the point led a to a Jeremy Roy shot that Gambrell tipped as the puck rattled off both goal posts and into the back of the net for his first goal of the season at the 14:30 mark. Weinger was credited with an assist for a two-point night.

Korenar (8-13-2) made 23 saves on 25 shots to earn his 8th win of the sseason. Werner (13-6-1) stopped 32 of the 39 shots he faced in suffering the loss.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 2-for-5 on the power play. Colorado was 0-for-5.

Letunov recorded two assists giving him his team leading 20th on the season. He also leads San Jose in points with 28.

Bowers has scored a goal in three straight games.

Colorado’s five-game road point streak was snapped with the loss.

The announced attendance was 2,143.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda travel out to Iowa in their first non-conference mathup of the season to take on the Wild on Friday 5:00pm at the Wells Fargo Arena.

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