Heat edge Barracuda 3-1; San Jose looses two of last three games

The San Jose Barracuda defenseman Artemi Knyazev (25) skates against the Stockton Heat at the SAP Center in San Jose on Tue Mar 22, 2022 (file photo from the San Jose Barracuda)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE— The Stockton Heat scored two unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the San Jose Barracuda 3-1 on Tuesday evening at SAP Center.

San Jose has lost two out of its past three games. Stockton leads the Pacific Division with 79 points as they have won two games in a row. This was a make-up game that was originally scheduled back on December 29th, 2021.

The Barracuda (20-30-2-2) drew first blood early in the first period when Brinson Pasichnuk scored his first goal of the season at the 1:32 mark. Kyle Topping received the only assist on Pasichnuk’s goal.

Stockton (37-11-4-1) answered back just past the midway point of the opening frame. Matthew Phillips scored an unassisted goal, his 25th of the season, at the 11:18 mark.

There was no scoring during the second period despite Stockton outshooting San Jose 19-11 in the middle frame. Both Dustin Wolf and Zachary Sawchenko kept the game tied heading into the second intermission.

The Heat scored what proved to be the game winning goal just past the halfway mark of the the third period. Justin Kirkland scored his 15th goal of the season, with help from Juuso Valimaki, at the 11:22 mark.

Stockton sealed the deal with an empty goal from Kevin Gravel, his third of the season, at the 18:37 mark when San Jose pulled Sawchenko for an extra attacker.

Wolf finished the evening stopping 25 of the 26 shots he faced to earn the victory. Sawchenko, played brilliant in his first start since being sent back down to the Barracuda, as had 40 saves on 42 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished 0-for-4 on the power play. Stockton was 0-for-3.

The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Sawchenko 2) Kirkland 3) Pasichnuk.

UP NEXT: San Jose continues its five game homestand hosting the Abbotsford Canucks on Thursday 3/24 at 7:00pm at Solar4America Ice at San Jose.

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