The San Diego Gulls Alex Limoges (12) scored the game winning goal against the San Jose Barracuda on Tue Jan 18, 2022 at SAP Center in San Jose (file photo by San Diego Gulls)
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE — Squandered opportunities will come back to haunt you.
Alex Limoges scored the eventual game winning goal with 3:39 left in regulation to give the San Diego Gulls a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Barracuda on Tuesday evening at SAP Center.
Greg Printz threaded a pass that got behind San Jose’s defense. Limoges waited for ‘Cuda goalie Sam Harvey to bite before sliding the puck around him for his sixth goal of the season at the 16:21 mark of the third period.
Earlier in the final frame, San Jose had its second five-on-three opportunity with 7:15 remaining but they failed to cash in as San Diego was able to kill off both penalties.
“I don’t think we had a lot of good looks on it,” said ‘Cuda head coach Roy Sommer. “I think we were too much around the perimeter trying to set up plays, instead of just bombing the puck (on net).”
San Jose has lost three out its last four games. San Diego have won two games in a row.
Each team were without one of their top forwards. San Jose did not have the services of Sasha Chmelevski (17 points) and Jacob Perreault (18 points) was not in the lineup for San Diego.
San Jose (13-18-1-0) drew first blood near the halfway point of the first period. Evan Weinger centered a pass in front of the crease where an unchecked Jake McGrew one-timed a point-blank shot past Gulls goalie Francis Marotte for his fifth goal of the season at the 9:26 mark.
The Barracuda had the ice tilted in their favor in the opening 20 minutes as they outshot the Gulls 15-8.
San Diego (12-13-2-0) answered back with an even strength goal early in the second period. A turnover inside the ‘Cuda zone led to Benoit-Oliver Groulx sent a cross ice pass out the left point over to Trevor Carrick. The former Barracuda defenseman blasted a slap shot past ‘Cuda goalie Sam Harvey for his third goal of the season at the 5:25 mark.
The Gulls gained its first lead on a delayed penalty call. Lucas Elvenes was being cross-checked down to the ice, the puck reached Bryce Kindopp who used a backhand shot to put the puck past the five-hole of Harvey for his fourth goal of the season at the 13:01 mark.
“(There) just wasn’t enough desperation in our game for 60 minutes. We played 45 minutes of it. But with the team we have right now, that’s not going to win (games),” Sommer said.
The Barracuda took advantage on its first five-on-three power play opportunity when they evened the game with 10 seconds remaining in the middle frame. Joachim Blichfeld’s initial shot was blocked. Jayden Halbgewachs quickly gave it back to Blichfeld and the Danish native rifled a wrist shot top shelf over the shoulder of Marotte for his 12th goal of the season.
Groulx sealed the deal with an empty net goal with three seconds left, his third of the season.
“Some stupid decisions,” said Blichfeld explaining on the team ended with a loss. “And some bad power play at the end. We gotta execute on those (opportunities).”
Marotte (2-1-1), who made just his sixth AHL appearance, finished the evening stopping 38 of the 40 shots he faced to earn the victory. Harvey (2-3-0), who made his third consecutive start, made 19 saves on 22 shots in the losing effort.
GAME NOTES: San Jose finished 1-for-6 on the power play. San Diego was 0-for-3.
The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Limoges 2) Marotte 3) Blichfeld
San Jose is 24-30-6-3 all time versus San Diego and 13-14-3-1 at home.
UP NEXT: San Jose travels to Bakersfield to take on the Condors at 7:00pm at Mechanics Bank Arena.