Read and weep the San Jose Barracuda get crushed in a six goal contest against the Stockton Heat at the Stockton Arena on Sat Apr 2, 2022 (image by the San Jose Barracuda)
by Marko Ukalovic
The San Jose Barracuda are down to one goalie.
Starting goalie Zachary Sawchenko suffered an undisclosed injury in the first period and did not return as the Stockton Heat dominated the San Jose Barracuda in a 7-1 victory on Saturday evening at Stockton Arena.
Stockton has won six of their last seven games as they lead the Pacific Division with 85 points. San Jose has lost six games in a row and anchor the bottom of the division with 44 points with nine games left to play.
San Jose (20-35-2-2) actually drew first blood 68 seconds into the game. Lane Pedersen blasted a shot on net that was initially stopped by Heat goalie Dustin Wolf. Mason Jobst, who played in his second game with the ‘Cuda, cleaned up a big rebound for his first goal as member of the Barracuda and his fifth overall on the season at the 1:08 mark.
Stockton (40-12-4-1) responded at the 7:24 mark with a power play goal. Justin Kirkland fired on a shot on net that redirected by Connor Zary past Sawchenko for his 10th goal of the season.
The Heat took the lead with 1:04 left in the opening frame with a short-handed goal. Eetu Tuuola finished off a three-on-two odd man rush with a wrist shot to the near post for his 12th goal of the season.
Alex Stalock replaced Sawchenko to start the second period. Sawchenko finished with 12 saves on 14 shots.
Stockton scored two late goals in the second period for a comfortable 4-1 lead.
Tuuola scored his second goal of the game and 13th of the season when he cleaned up the rebound off of a Byron Froese shot at the 14:34 mark.
Then just over four minutes later when Matthew Phillips took advantage of a Barracuda turnover inside their own zone. Phillips buried a wrist shot past Stalock after receiving the gift for his 26th goal of the season.
Stockton put the game away with three goals in the third period.
Glenn Gawdin scored his 14th goal of the season at the 2:52 mark. Phillips scored his second goal of the game at the 11:17 mark. Adam Ruzcika completed the scoring with his 11th goal with 15 second remaining.
Wolf finished the evening stopping 24 of the 25 shots he faced to earn the victory. Stalock made 22 saves on 27 shots in mop-up duty.
GAME NOTES: San Jose finished 0-for-1 on the power play. Stockton was 1-for-2.
The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Tuuola 2) Phillips 3) Kirkland
UP NEXT: San Jose concludes its season series with Stockton on Sunday 4/3 at 3:00pm at SAP Center.