photo from sjbarracuda.com
by Marko Ukalovic
BAKERSFIELD, Calif- The San Jose Barracuda scored five unanswered goals to snap a season high eight-game losing steak in a 5-2 victory over the Bakersfield Condors on Sunday evening at Mechanics Bank Arena.
San Jose hadn’t won since January 17th when they beat Iowa 3-1 on the road. They have points in three consecutive games and now have 35 points. Bakersfield have lost five games in a row as they have fallen to sixth place in the Pacific Division during their slide.
Bakersfield (20-24-4-2) drew first blood in the first period. Jakob Stukel scored his fifth goal of the season at the 8:12 mark. Luke Esposito and and Keegan Lowe assisted on the goal.
San Jose (15-25-3-2) scored the equalizer just under three minutes later in what started a streak of five unanswered goals. Danil Yurtaykin led a 2-on-2 rush up the ice. He made a move around a Condors defender before firing a wrist shot that Condors goalie Shane Starrett kicked out to the middle where Manny Weiderer deposited the rebound into the back of the net for his second goal of the season at the 10:59 mark.
The Barracuda gained the lead at the end of the opening frame when Ivan Chekhovich won a battle along the boards and fed the puck over to Sasha Chmelevski. Chmelevski quickly threw it down to a wide open Jayden Halbgewachs along the right side of the net. Halbgewachs got Starrett to go down before skating around him and tapping home the puck past Starrett for his co-team leading 15th goal of the season at the 17:04 mark.
San Jose scored the only goal in the second period when Yutaykin centered a pass from behind the net out to Weiderer. His shot deflected off Dmitri Samorukov’s skate out to the left of the net where Jeremy Roy, who played up at forward for the first time in his pro career, cleaned up the rebound for his first goal of the season at the 12:57 mark. Roy’s first goal in 26 games this season was his first since March 2, 2019 at Bakersfield, totaling a 37 game goal-less draught.
The ‘Cuda out shot the Condors 22-15 through the first 40 minutes as they controlled the majority of the zone time.
San Jose put the game away with two goals within the first five minutes of the third period to squash any hopes of a Bakersfield comeback attempt.
Chmelevski used his speed to up the left wing and gave a drop pass to a pinching Thomas Gregoire in between the faceoff circles. The ‘Cuda defenseman hopped the puck over the stick of Brandon Manning and wired a wrist shot past Starrett on the shortside for his fourth goal of the season 53 seconds into the third period.
San Jose scored their fifth unanswered goal on the power play when Gregoire sent in a slap shot from the point that Lean Bergmann redirected past Starrett for his seventh goal of the season at the 5:02 mark. Halbgewachs received the secondary assist.
Nolan Vesey completed the scoring 43 seconds later when he scored his first goal of the season. Beau Starrett and Evan Bouchard received assists.
Zachary Sawchenko snapped a three-game losing streak by making 22 saves on 24 shots to earn his fourth win of the season. Starrett suffered his fourth-straight loss after allowing five goals on 36 shots.
GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1-for-3 on the power play. Bakersfield was 0-for-3.
Wiederer earned first-star honors with his goal and an assist, his third multi-point game of his career.
Bergmann has scored a goal in a back-to-back games.
Yurtaykin recorded his first multi-point effort of his AHL career with his two assists.
The announced attendance was 3,384.
UP NEXT: The Barracuda return home to host the Tucson Roadrunners on Monday 2/17 at 6:00pm at SAP Center.