The Henderson Silver Knights center Jake Leschyshyn (39) and the San Jose Barracuda defenceman Brinson Pasichnuk (50) scramble for the puck on open ice during game 1 of the Pacific Division Semifinals on Fri May 21, 2021 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas (@sjbarracuda photo)
by Marko Ukalovic
LAS VEGAS, Nev.–The Henderson Silver Knights opened their first ever playoff game with a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Barracuda in game one of the Pacific Division Semifinals on Friday evening at Orleans Arena.
Henderson went up 1-0 in the best of three Pacific Division semifinals series. The Barracuda kept the game close throughout the majority of the game until the Silver Knights put the game away with a couple of empty net goals.
The Silver Knights drew first blood on an even strength goal in the first period. A clearing attempt by ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar went out of the reach of Jacob Middleton. Brayden Pachal collected the puck along the right boards and wristed a shot towards the net where Jack Dugan redirected past Korenar for his first goal of the playoffs at the 8:20 mark.
San Jose answered back late in the opening 20 minutes. Jake McGrew fired in a shot from the right wing and Jayden Halbgewachs, who was camped out in front of the crease, tipped home the puck past Silver Knights goalie Logan Thompson for his first goal of the playoffs at the 15:02 mark.
The Barracuda out shot the Silver Knights 11-9 in the first period.
Henderson regained the lead halfway through the second period. Maxim Marushev led a two-on-one odd man rush with Pavel Dorofeyev. Marushev threaded a pass over to Dorofeyev who skated in and slipped a bandhander through the five-hole of Korenar for his first goal of the playoffs at the 10:19 mark.
Dorofeyev scored four of his nine goals during the regular season against San Jose.
Henderson out shot San Jose 14-7 in the middle frame.
San Jose had a chance to score the equalizer with a power play halfway through the third period but weren’t able to capitalize on its only chance with the man advantage.
Dugan iced the game with his two empty net goals at the end of the game. His first empty netter (and second of the game) came at the 18:32 mark. Then he completed the hat trick with his second empty netter with 19 seconds left.
Thompson finished the game with 22 shots on 23 shots to earn the victory. Korenar made 30 saves on 32 shots in the losing effort.
GAME NOTES: San Jose went 0-for-1 on the power play. Henderson was 0-for-3.
The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Dorofeyev 2) Dugan 3) Thompson
UP NEXT: Game 2 is slated for Sunday 5/23 at 1:00pm at Orleans Arena.