Photo credit: @sjbarracuda
By Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Barracuda came back from a three two-goal deficits, but weren’t able to close out their five-game home stand on a winning note as the Bakersfield Condors defeated San Jose 6-5 in overtime on Monday evening at SAP Center.
Bakersfield All-Star Joe Gambardella drove to the net from the half-boards and beat Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau (9-5-4) with a wrist shot top-shelf for his 16th goal of the season at the 1:55 mark of the overtime for the game-winner. Logan Day and Tyler Benson received assists.
Bakersfield (21-15-2-1) drew first blood in the first period when David Gust attempted pass off the half right way deflected off a Cuda defender into the net for his 11th goal of the season at the 13:38 mark.
The Condors extended their lead on the power play when Josh Currie finished off a two-on-one rush beating Bibeau top self for his 17th goal of the season at the 17:41 mark. Cooper Marody and Benson received assists.
Keaton Middleton was able to get San Jose (23-8-2-3) on the board when he took a pass from Alex True below the left faceoff dot and one-timed it past the Condors netminder Stuart Skinner (3-1-0) to make it 2-1 with 1:53 remaining in the opening frame. Jon Martin received the secondary assist.
Bakersfield regained their two-goal lead when Tyler Vesel was able to slide a puck out of the reach of the right pad of Bibeau to bring the score to 3-1 with 49 seconds left.
In the second period, San Jose scored two goals in the first four minutes. Middleton scored his second goal of the game by sliding a slow-moving shot past a screened Skinner from the slot for his fifth goal of the season at the 2:40 mark.
Then on the power play two minutes later, Cavan Fitzgerald received a pass from Jayden Halbgewachs as he drifted from the right point and rocketed a wrister over the glove of Skinner, tying the game at 4:32. True received the secondary assist.
Bakersfield reclaimed the lead late in the middle frame with two goals of their own in a span of 56 seconds. Patrick Russel scored his eight goal of the season at the 16:33 mark. Then, Ethan Bear scored his first goal of the season at the 17:29 mark to head into the second intermission with a 5-3 lead.
The third period belonged to San Jose as the Cuda put on a late push to tie the game as they outshot Bakersfield 19-3. Jon Martin skated into the Condor zone and a trailing Jeremy Roy snapped in a perfect shot as he collected the loose puck that Martin left after colliding into a pair of Condors for his third goal of the season at the 14:00 mark.
San Jose pulled Bibeau for an extra attacker when Fitzgerald brought the puck into the offensive zone, threaded a cross-ice pass to Maxim Letunov and the rookie guided it in on the backhand past Skinner for his seventh goal of the season to force overtime.
Skinner stopped 33 of the 38 pucks to earn his third win of the season. Bibeau made 26 saves on 32 shots in suffering the loss.
GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1/4 on the power play. Bakersfield was 1/1.
The announced attendance was 2,485.
UP NEXT: San Jose travels up to Grand Rapids to start a two-game series with the Griffins on Friday at 4:00 pm at Van Andel Arena.