The San Jose Barracuda share congratulations as they went five for five on the power play on Sat Apr 29, 2021 against the Henderson Silver Knights at SAP Center in San Jose (@sjbarracuda photo)
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE, Calif–Joel Kellman scored the game winning goal with 31 seconds left in regulation on the power play to give the San Jose Barracuda a 7-5 victory over the Henderson Silver Knights on Friday evening at SAP Center.
The ‘Cuda set a franchise record for the most power play goals in a game with five. And they needed every single one of them in a game that went back and fourth in a frantic third period that featured seven combined goals.
San Jose has won three games in a row for the second time this season and continue to occupy fourth place and the final play spot in the Pacific Division. Henderson have lost three out of its last four games.
The Barracuda (15-11-4-2) drew first blood in the first seven minutes of the first period. Joel Kellman sent a rink-wide pass over to Chmelevski who buried a wrist shot just inside the short side of the post for his seventh goal of the season at the 7:16 mark. Robbie Russo received the secondary assist.
San Jose doubled its lead on the power play thanks again to the combo of Russo, Kellman and Chmelevski. Kellman sent in a shot in from the left slot that got behind Silver Knights goalie Oscar Dansk. Chmelevski raced in from the right and jammed home the puck past an outstretched Dansk for his second power play of the period and his eighth goal of the season at the 13:28 mark.
Henderson (21-12-0-0) cut the lead in half with a power play goal of their own late in the opening frame. Ryan Murphy sent a pass over to Danny O-Regan at the left slot. The former Barracuda forward haunted his own old team with a wrist shot past the five-hole of ‘Cuda goalie Alexei Melnichuk or his 11th goal of the season at the 16:00 mark.
San Jose out shot Henderson 11-9 in the first period.
The Silver Knights evened the score at two early in the second period with its second power play goal. A shot from the right slot by Cody Glass hit off Melnichuk’s shoulder and popped over behind him in the crease. O’Regan was at the right place at the right time as he tapped home the puck into an open net for his second power play goal and 12th of the season at the 7:35 mark.
San Jose regained the lead late in the second period with its third power play goal of the game. Jayden Halbgewachs attempted drop pass went off a Silver Knight stick that led to Maxim Letunov. The Russian forward gathered the puck, dropped to a knee and sniped home a wrist shot past Dansk low to the far post for his 10th goal of the season at the 18:54 mark.
The Barracuda scored what they thought was an early insurance goal in the first minute of the third period for its fourth power play goal of the game. Brinson Pasichnuk sent a pass from the point over to Brandon Coe. The 19-year old forward snapped home a wrist shot from a tough angle from the left wing for his first career AHL goal at the 0:55 mark.
Henderson made it a one-goal game near the halfway mark of the third period. A shot from the right wing by Reid Duke bounced off the pad of Melnichuk right to the stick of Pavel Dorofeyev who swept the puck past Melnichuk for his sixth goal of the season at the 8:43 mark.
San Jose regained a two-goal lead on it’s own even strength goal. Nicolas Meloche fed a home-run pass out to Kellman along the left wing. Kellman skated in snapped a wrist shot past Dansk for his fifth goal of the season at the 10:41 mark. Chmelevski received the secondary assist that earned him a three-point game.
The Silver Knights didn’t go down quietly as Jonas Ronsbjerg snipped a wrist shot to the short side past Melnichuk for his fourth goal of the season at the 13:30 mark
Henderson scored the equalizer with 2:05 left in the third period when they pulled Dansk for an extra attacker. Jack Dugan fired a wrist shot from between the face off circles past Melnichuk for his sixth goal of the season.
Kellman earned his first career AHL hat trick with an empty net goal from his own defensive zone for his sixth goal of the season at the 19:44 mark. Kellman finished the night with a franchise record five-point game.
The Swedish forward is the first ‘Cuda player to score three goals in one period as he set another franchise mark.
Melnichuk (7-6-3) finished the game stopping 26 of the 31 shots to earn his third straight victory. Dansk (4-2) made 31 saves on 37 shots in the losing effort.
GAME NOTES: San Jose were a perfect 5-for-5 on the power play. Henderson was 2-for-5.
Kellman’s hat trick was the first of the season for San Jose, It was its eighth in franchise history.
Chmelevski has scored three points in back-to-back games for San Jose.
Jake McGrew suffered an upper body and left the ice halfway through the third period. He came back and finished the game.
The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Kellman 2) Chmelevski 3) Russo, who had four assists in the game.
UP NEXT: San Jose and Henderson go back at it again on Saturday 5/1 at 5:15pm at SAP Center.