photo from sjbarracuda.com
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE, Calif- The San Diego Gulls flipped the script in their favor a night after the San Jose Barracuda came back from a two-goal deficit. This time around they would have the last laugh as Isac Lunderstrom scored the game winning goal with three seconds left in overtime to complete a 3-2 come from behind victory for the Gulls on Saturday evening at SAP Center.
Lunderstrom finished off a give-and-go with Josh Mahura with a wrist shot from the left wing that beat ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar for his sixth goal of the season at the 19:57 mark of the extra session.
San Jose, who have played four of their last five games in overtime, had its season high three-game winning streak snapped. However they have earned a point in a season high five-game point streak. They finished their six-game homestand with a 3-1-2 record. With the win, San Diego is in sole position of fourth place in the Pacific Division with 66 points.
It was a war of attrition on special teams between the two divsion rivals. The Barracuda struck first early in the first period with a short-handed goal. With Keaton Middleton in the sinbin for cross checking, Jeffery Viel raced in from the right wing and his shot had Gulls goalie Kevin Boyle knock the net loose but not off its bearings. The puck was still live and Evan Weinger quickly tucked it into the net for his ninth goal of the season at the 1:50 mark. It was also Weinger’s third short-handed goal of the year and the Barracuda’s sixth of the season.
San Jose (20-27-5-2) doubled its lead on the power play late in the opening frame. Jeffery Viel centered a pass from behind the end line that deflected off the skate of Anthony Greco over to Jonny Brodzinski who blasted a one-timer past Boyle for his 13th goal of the season at the 16:47 mark.
Brozinski has five goals in his last four games and is on a current four-game point streak.
Shots were even at 11 for both teams in the first period as the Barracuda controled the majority of play.
San Diego (29-18-6-2) cut the lead in half on the power play early in the second period. Brendan Guhle sent a pass back up to the right point where Mahura sent in a shot on net that Chris Mueller redirected the puck past the five-hole of Korenar for his 19th goal of the season at the 5:59 mark.
The Gulls scored the equalizer with a short-handed goal of their own, their 17 of the season, over five minutes into the third period. Simon Benoit set up Sam Carrick who wrapped around a shot past Korenar for his 22nd goal of the season at the 5:48 mark. Carrick leads the Gulls with four short-handed goals.
San Diego gained momentum and dominated the rest of the period as they had San Jose on their heels outshooting them 10-4.
The Gulls had two glorious chances to end the game earlier in overtime but Korenar made two spectacular saves to keep the ‘Cuda in it. The most notable was stopping Carrick on a 2-on-0 breakaway where the puck was on the goaline but Korenar somehow kept it from crossing the line at the 2:50 mark.
Boyle finished the evening stopping 24 of the 26 shots he faced to earn his eighth win of the season and fourth in a row for the Gulls backup goaltender. Korenar made 31 saves on 34 shots suffering the tough luck loss.
GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1-for-5 on the power play. San Diego went 1/2.
Viel registered two assists in the game, his eighth multi-point performance of the season and fifth helper in his last three games.
Saturday’s game was the third-straight between the Barracuda and Gulls that needed overtime to decide it.
The announced attendance was 3,661.
UP NEXT: The Barracuda travel out to Stockton to take on the Heat to start a three-game road trip on Tuesday 3/9 at 7:00pm at Stockton Arena.