December 12, 2015

GAME PREVIEW: Gulls Face Barracuda for Fourth Time on the Road, Sixth This Season (1:30pm)

The Gulls face the San Jose Barracuda (AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks) for the sixth time in the 2015-16 season, a midday contest on the road at SAP Center. San Diego currently leads the season-series 3-2.

The Gulls and Barracuda’s last faceoff was on Nov. 14, the second of back-to-backs on Valley View Casino Center ice.

San Jose set the tone early by netting two goals in the first period. Right wing Jeremy Langlois opened scoring at 8:21and defenseman Karl Stollery stretched the lead to two with just 1:32 remaining in the opening frame.

The second period began with a Gulls penalty, sending left wing Nic Kerdiles to the  box for two minutes. San Jose converted on the power play with a goal from Joakim Ryan that upped the Barracuda advantage to 3-0. Gulls veteran Brian McGrattan followed up with his second goal of the year, and the Gulls’ first of the game, just 34 seconds later, shrinking the deficit to 3-1. Shortly thereafter, Barracuda forward Gregor Hanson snatched up a loose puck inside the Gulls’ zone and put a shot past Gulls goalie Matt Hackett to end the middle frame with a 4-1 lead for San Jose.

The Gulls came out fighting in the final 20 minutes of regulation, outshooting San Jose 21-7. Barracuda goalie Troy Grosenick remained unfazed until the Gulls earned a 5-on-3 advantage with 5:18 left in the game. Nic Kerdiles scored his second power play goal of the two-game series to keep the Barracuda within reach. Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins pulled Hackett from goal on a power play with five minutes remaining to give San Diego the 6-on-4 advantage, however, the Gulls couldn’t convert. Gulls center Chris Mueller netted the third San Diego goal of the night, but the final result was a 4-3 Barracuda victory. San Jose went home winning both of the consecutive matchups.

Entering today’s game, the Gulls are 11-10-0-1 (23 points) after falling 3-0 to the Bakersfield Condors on the road last night. San Jose has a season record of 9-8-0-3 (21 points) heading into tonight’s game.