Nov. 14, 2015
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Gulls found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-3 score against the San Jose Barracuda (5-6-0-1) for the second straight night at the Valley View Casino Center. The Gulls (9-3-0-1) rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the third period with back-to-back goals, but the rally fell short in front of a crowd of 11,396.
The Barracuda (5-6-0-1) opened scoring 8:21 into the first period when Jeremy Langlois surprised the Gulls defense with a snap shot after a clean faceoff win by Ryan Carpenter, beating goalie Matt Hackett low for a 1-0 lead. San Jose doubled their advantage with just 1:32 remaining in the period when defenseman Karl Stollery’s bid from the blue line eluded Hackett and found the net for the veteran’s first goal of the season.
When San Diego’s Nic Kerdiles was sent to the penalty box in the opening two minutes of the second period, San Jose capitalized on defenseman Mark Cundari’s power play goal from Joakim Ryan, boosting the Barracuda advantage to 3-0.
The Gulls quickly answered on Brian McGrattan’s second goal of the year, snapping a shot from the boards past San Jose goalie Troy Grosenick (30 saves) just 34 seconds later to trim the deficit to 3-1. Hackett stopped a San Jose breakaway attempt midway through the second period but was unable to turn aside Gregor Hanson a minute later, who converted a loose puck inside the San Diego blue line for his first goal of the season and a 4-1 Barracuda lead.
The third period saw a furious rally from the Gulls, who out-shot San Jose 21-7 in the final twenty minutes. The sustained pressure couldn’t crack Grosenick until San Diego converted a 5-on-3 advantage at 14:42; Nic Kerdiles scoring on the power play for the second straight game. The Gulls’ 15th power play goal of the season is tied for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for second-most in the AHL, trailing only the Albany Devils (17 goals).
Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins then pushed the envelope, pulling his goaltender with five minutes remaining to turn the power play into a 6-on-4 advantage. The Gulls did not allow an empty netter, and Chris Mueller’s goal with 2.1 seconds left settled the final score line.
San Diego takes the road for three games next week, starting with their third of twelve Pacific Division matchups against the Stockton Heat on Wednesday night at Stockton Arena. The Gulls will continue on for games at Grand Rapids and Milwaukee before returning home to host the Texas Stars at Valley View Casino Center on Wednesday, November 25th.