San Jose goalie Aaron had an easy night between the pipes in his team’s 4-0 win over the Bakersfield Condors on Friday MAR 10, 2022. (San Jose Barracuda)
by Marko Ukalovic
Jeffery Viel picked a great time to record his first ever career hat trick.
Viel’s three goals, a natural hat trick, helped the San Jose Barracuda dominate the Bakersfield Condors in a 4-0 shutout victory on Friday night at Mechanics Bank Arena.
With the win, San Jose inched closer to Bakersfield for the seventh place and final playoff spot in the Pacific Division to just three points with its third win in four games. Bakersfield had its two-game winning streak snapped.
San Jose (24-27-1-4-53 points) drew first blood early in the first period with an even strength goal. Jacob Peterson sent a cross rink pass over to Artemi Kniazev who buried the puck into an open net for his fourth goal of the season at the 5:49 mark.
The Barracuda doubled its lead on the power play in the second half of the opening frame. Peterson picked up his second assist of the game when he found Viel in front of the crease with another rink wide pass that Viel tapped home into an open net for his 12th goal of the season at the 12:12 mark.
Viel has scored in three consecutive games and has an eight-game scoring streak.
San Jose had the iced tilted in its favor for the majority of the first period as they outshot Bakersfield 14-2.
Bakersfield (26-26-2-2-56 points) went to the sin bin three times, including Dino Kambeitz’s four-minute minor for high sticking, in the opening 20 minutes.
Viel scored his second goal of the game when he finished off a pretty tic-tac-toe play set up by Ozzy Wiesblatt and Patrick Sieloff inside the Condor’s zone. Viel beat Condor’s goalie Olivier Rodrigue with a wrist shot for his 13th goal of the season, a single career best, at the 7:05 mark of the second period.
Viel finished off the hat trick just over four minutes later with the ‘Cuda on the man advantage. Brandon Coe found Viel with a backdoor pass as Viel tapped home the puck into the open net and 14th goal of the season at the 11:15 mark.
‘Cuda goalie Aaron Dell (10-11-2) stopped all 23 shots he faced to earn his second shutout of the season, his 10th of his career, and third straight win. Rodrigue (10-12-1) made 21 saves on 25 shots in the losing effort.
GAME NOTES: San Jose finished 2-for-6 on the power play. Bakersfield was 0-for-3.
San Jose shutout Bakersfield on the road for the first time in franchise history.
The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Viel 2) Peterson 3) Kniazev
UP NEXT: San Jose and Bakersfield conclude their two-game series on Saturday 3/11 at 7:00pm at Mechanics Bank Arena.