by Marko Ukalovic
DES MOISES Iowa- Better late than never is the philosophy the San Jose Barracuda used in the third period as they scored three unaswered goals to defeat the Iowa Wild 3-1 on Friday evening at Wells Fargo Arena.
This was the first game San Jose has played outside the Pacific Division this season in the first of four games they will play against Iowa this season. The ‘Cuda have won two games in a row. The Wild are 2-3 against the Pacific Division this season.
The opening 20 minutes went scoreless with San Jose outshooting the Iowa 10-5. Each team had a power play opportunity with neither team not being able to cash in with the man advantage.
Iowa (22-14-3-2) drew first blood near the end of the second period. Jacob Middleton slipped and fell while trying to clear the puck out of the ‘Cuda zone. Brandon Duhaime collected the puck and made a back hand pass over to Dmitry Sokolov who buried a shot top-shelf past ‘Cuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko for his ninth goal of the season at the 15:29 mark.
Despite outshooting Iowa 13-11 in the middle frame, San Jose still trailed 1-0 at the second intermission.
San Jose (14-20-0-2) began their comeback 33 seconds into the third period. Alexander True led a rush into the Wild zone. His centering pass deflected off a Wild defender onto the stick of Nikolai Knyzhov who quickly fed over to Jeffery Viel to the right of the net. Viel than tapped the puck into the empty net for the first of his two goals of the game and seventh of the season.
The ‘Cuda gained the lead when Jonny Brodzinski intercepted a clearing attempt by the Wild. He made a pass over to Trevor Carrick at the left slot and Carrick sent a cross-ice pass over to Sasha Chmelevski who buried a wrist shot to the short side of Wild goalie Kaapo Khakonen for his seventh goal of the season at the 6:22 mark.
Iowa pulled Khakonen for an extra attacker with two minutes remaining in an effort to score the eqaulizer but Viel dashed the Wild’s hopes of scoring the equalizer when he won a race to a loose puck inside the Wild zone and desposited the puck between two Wild defenders into the empty net for his eighth goal of the season and second of the contest at the 18:29 mark.
It was the first time in Viel’s career he has had a multi-goal game.
Sawchenko (3-1-0) stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced to earn his third win of the season. Khakonen (14-5-1) allowed two goal on 29 shots in suffering the loss.
GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0-for-3 on the power play. Iowa was 0-for-2.
Prior to Friday, the Barracuda were just 3-16-0 when trailing after two periods.
After the win, the Barracuda are now 4-2-1 all-time against the Wild.
The announced attendance was 5,596.
UP NEXT: The Barracuda conclude their two game series with the Wild on Saturday 1/18 at 4:00pm at Wells Fargo Arena.