Photo credit: @sjbarracuda
By Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Once the San Jose Barracuda were able to get their legs underneath them in the second period, they took full advantage, scoring three unanswered goals in a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Eagles on Thursday afternoon at SAP Center.
Colorado (15-10-3-1) drew first blood just past the halfway mark of the first period. Micheal Joly pick pocketed the puck off of Calvan Fitzgerald. He raced down the right-wing and centered a pass over to Dominic Toninato who buried the puck off the crossbar past Cuda goaltender Josef Korenar (12-1-1) for his fourth goal of the season at the 10:57 mark. It was the first ever goal by Colorado on San Jose ice.
San Jose (18-5-1-3) put pressure on Eagles goaltender Pavel Francouz (13-6-2) late in the period when Truchon-Viel had a point-blank chance that he shot wide with under three minutes left. Then, while on the power play, captain John McCarthy’s attempt was stoned away by Francouz off a nice give and go with Francis Perron. San Jose outshot Colorado 9-8 in the opening frame.
Nick DeSimone had a breakaway chance early in the second period seconds after he stepped out of the penalty box, but the puck slid off his stick on his shooting attempt on Francouz.
Perron evened the game at 1-1 on the power play for San Jose. His wrist shot had some english on it that was too much for Francouz to handle at the 9:16 mark. Perron leads the Cuda in overall goals with 13 and power play goals with six. He is on a three-game goal streak.
San Jose received their first lead of the game half way through the middle frame. Maxim Letunov picked up the puck in the neutral zone and moved in to the Eagles zone away from the defense. He found a wide-open Kyle Wood, who snapped home a perfectly timed wrist shot past Francouz on the short side for his second goal of the season at the 11:26 mark.
The Cuda managed only five shots in the second period, but two of them were in the back of the net. The Eagles had even less shots with just three.
Letunov gave the Cuda an insurance goal to take a 3-1 lead on the power play half way through the third period. Letunov’s attempted pass to Alex True was broken up, but he quickly pounced back on the puck and snapped it past Francouz for his sixth goal of the season at the 11:27 mark. Letunov was finally rewarded for all his hard work as that was his first goal in his last 17 games. Wood and Jeremy Roy received assists.
Korenar made 14 saves on 15 shots to earn his 12th victory and sixth in a row. Francouz made 29 saves on 32 shots in suffering the defeat. He is now currently 2-1 against San Jose.
GAME NOTES: San Jose was 2/5 on the power play. Colorado was 0/2. San Jose is second in the AHL on the penalty kill with a percentage of 86.8%.
Colorado is now 9-2-2 over their last 12 games. San Jose is now 2-0 against the Eagles at SAP Center and have earned at least a point in all four games this season.
The victory clinched the best record for the first half for San Jose and means head coach Roy Sommer will be the head coach of the Pacific Division at the AHL All-Star Game, held on January 28th, 2019 in Springfield, Mass. This will be the third time for Sommer coaching in an All-Star Game.
The announced attendance was 2,525.
UP NEXT: The Barracuda host the San Diego Gulls on Sunday, Dec. 30 at 5:00 pm at SAP Center.