photo from sjbarracuda.com
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN DIEGO, Calif- Rookie Maxime Comtois scored two goals and added an assist as the San Diego Gulls scored four unanswered goals en route to a 6-3 victory over the San Jose Barracudaon Saturday evening at Pachenga Arena.
San Jose had its two-game winning streak snapped. They are now 3-5 against the Gulls this season. San Diego have won three games in a row and jumped ahead of Ontario for fourth place in the Pacific Divison with 59 points.
San Diego (26-17-5-2) drew first blood early in the first period. Chase De Leo fed a pass up to the point where Chris Wideman’s shot was initially saved by ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar. Comtois was in front of the crease when he cleaned up the rebound for his first goal of the evening and sixth of the season at the 4:32 mark.
The former second round pick of the Anaheim Ducks has scored in five straight games, setting a Gull rookie record.
The Gulls doubled their lead when Josh Mahura led 2-on-1 break with Isac Lundestrom. Mahura fed Lundestrom who made a move forehand to backhand before he slid the puck past Korenar for his fifth goal of the season at the 11:29 mark
San Diego scored their third unanswered goal of the period when Scott Moldenhauer sent a wrist shot from the point that Chris Mueller tipped past Korenar on the right side for his sixth goal of the season at the 12:46 mark.
San Jose (16-26-3-2) had three good scoring chances go awry. Maxim Letunov had two point blank chances stopped by and Jonny Brodzinski had a shot hit a post.
San Diego out shot San Jose 16-12 in the opening frame.
The Gulls picked up where the left off in the second period going up 4-0 in the first five minutes. Alex Broadhurst fed a pass over to Comtois who buried a wrist shot past Korenar top-shelf on the right side for his second goal of the game and his seventh of the season at the 5:18 mark. De Leo received the secondary assist for a multi-point game.
San Jose finally stopped the bleeding halfway through the middle frame. Danil Yurtaykin fed a pass over to Thomas Gregoire who skated in and chipped the puck over the pad of Boyle, underneath his arm, for his fifth goal of the season at the 9:50 mark. The ‘Cuda defenseman has scored two goals in his last three games. Jeremy Roy received the secondary assist.
The Barracuda cut the lead in half when a turnover by Keifer Sherwood, who failed to clear the puck out of the defensisve zone, led to Jeffery Viel who snapped a wrist shot off the body of Jani Hankapaa in front of the net that went past Boyle for Viel’s 11th goal of the season at the 11:59 mark. Viel has scored three goals in his past two games.
San Diego regained a three-goal lead on the power play with under five seconds left in the middle frame. Broadhurst fed a pass over to Sam Carrick who sniped a shot past Korenar for his team leading 20th goal of the season. Comtois received the secondary assist.
San Jose scored a power play goal with 1:44 left in the third period to cut the deficit to two goals. Lukas Radil feathered a chip pass over to Lean Bergmann who wired a shot past Boyle for his eighth goal of the season. Joachim Blichfeld received the secondary assist.
Blake Pietila iced the game with an empty net goal 22 seconds later to complete the scoring.
Boyle finished the game stopping 34 shots of the 37 shots he faced to earn his sixth victory of the season for the Gulls backup goaltender. Korenar made 29 saves on 34 shots in suffering the loss.
GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1-for-3 on the power play. San Diego was 1-for-1.
Fisticuffs! Keaton Middleton and Keegan Kanzig danced the tango in a long, spirited fight at the 7:45 mark of the second period.
San Diego had killed off 16 straight penalties before Bergmann’s power play tally. Their penalty kill is ranked sixth in the AHL.
Bergmann has scored in back-to-back games.
The announced attendance was 11,749.
UP NEXT: The Barracuda conclude their two-game roadtrip in Ontario as they take on the Reign on Sunday 2/23 at 3:00pm.