It wasn’t even close as the San Diego Gulls get a four goal game win over the San Jose Barracuda at the SAP Center in San Jose on Wed Feb 16, 2022 (photo from the San Jose Barracuda)
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE — Never underestimate the fourth line.
All three forwards on the San Diego Gulls fourth line scored a goal en route to a 5-1 victory over the San Jose Barracuda on Wednesday evening at SAP Center.
San Jose has lost a season worst seven games. San Diego has won three out of its last four games and snapped a four-game losing streak on the road.
San Diego (16-20-2-0) drew first blood early in the first period. Brayden Tracey sent a rink wide pass over to Brent Gates Jr and he blistered a one-timer past ‘Cuda goalie Alexei Melnichuk for his fifth goal of the season at the 3:17 mark.
Gates Jr. has three goals in his past two games versus San Jose.
San Jose (14-26-1-0) answered back on the power play late in the opening 20 minutes. Joachim Blichfeld received the puck just outside the right faceoff circle from Artemi Kniazev. Blichfeld fired a wrist shot past a screened Gulls goalie Lukas Dostal for his 15th goal of the season at the 14:37 mark.
Blichfeld snapped a six-game goal less draught.
San Diego regained the lead in the first five minutes of the second period. A turnover inside the ‘Cuda zone led to Vinni Letteri centered a pass to Lucas Elvenes all alone in front of the crease. Elvenes, who was shaken up earlier on the play, cashed in on his own rebound for his fifth goal of the season, and third in a Gulls uniform, at the 4:43 mark.
The Gulls went up 3-1 at the halfway mark of the middle frame. Hunter Drew gathered the puck from behind the net and his shot attempt went off the skate of ‘Cuda defenseman Cole Moberg into the back of the net for Drew’s eighth goal of the season at the 10:16 mark.
San Diego scored its third unanswered goal in the period moments after their power play opportunity ended. Nikolas Brouillard’s shot from the left point was tipped in by Greg Printz for his sixth goal of the season at the 13:29 mark.
San Jose had a five-on-three power play opportunity late in the period when Brendan Guhle went off for boarding at the 17:45 mark. However, San Diego was able to kill off both penalties and almost scored a short-handed goal if it weren’t for a timely save by Melnichuk on Letteri’s breakaway attempt after just exiting the sinbin.
The Gulls scored early in the third period to ice the game. Elvenes sent a shot from the point that deflected in past Melnichuk for his second goal of the game and sixth of the season at the 3:30 mark.
Dostal finished the game stopping 24 of the 25 shots he faced to earn the victory. Melnichuk made 18 saves on 23 shots in the losing effort.
GAME NOTES: San Jose finished 1-for-5 on the power play. San Diego was 0-for-6.
The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Elvenes 2) Dostal 3) Blichfeld
San Jose finished 1-7 against San Diego in the season series.
San Diego is 7-11-1-0 on the road this season.
‘Cuda forward Evan Weinger had his career best five-game point streak snapped as he was suffered an upper body injury in the third period.
UP NEXT: San Jose travels out to the Lone Star state to begin a two-games series with the Texas Stars on Saturday 2/19 at 5:00pm at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.