January 13, 2016
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Gulls rallied from a third period deficit to force overtime, but saw the San Jose Barracuda skate away with a 2-1 victory in the five-minute sudden death period on Karl Stollery’s game-winning goal. San Jose (17-10-3-3) saw their points streak extend to seven games (6-0-1) while handing the Gulls their third straight loss on home ice.
Antoine Laganiere netted the equalizer for San Diego (17-14-1-1) at 10:47 in the third period and had a golden chance to win the game late in OT, only to see his bid from just outside the crease under pressure rise above the crossbar. On the ensuing counter-rush, Nikolay Goldobin and Stollery navigated the Gulls defense on a multi-pass give and go, with Stollery finishing right in front of San Diego goalie Anton Khudobin for his third goal of the season at 4:32 of overtime.
A tense game saw the score line untouched for the first two periods. The Gulls out-shot the Barracuda 11-to-9 in the opening frame, but saw several defensive zone giveaways converted into quality chances for San Jose. Khudobin held his line and kept the Gulls in the game, particularly during a second period where San Diego was out-shot 9-to-4.
The Gulls’ power play, ranked third in the American Hockey League (AHL) entering the night’s action, went 0-for-2 and saw the Barracuda have multiple chances short-handed.
Still scoreless in the third, the Barracuda struck first on the secondary attack after an initial Khudobin save. Nikita Jevpalovs saw the San Diego defense over-commit to one side, sliding the puck through multiple defenders to an open Mark Cundari, who settled the puck alone on the right circle before beating Khudobin high for his third goal of the year and a 1-0 San Jose lead at 8:59.
The Gulls would quickly gain an opportunity to tie the game, when Kyle Bonis burst between skaters for a breakaway on goal, pulled from behind for a penalty shot. Bonis came in from the right side on Troy Grosenick and tried to pick out the low/glove side, but Grosenick read the shot and made the save.
Seconds later the Gulls tied it when Laganiere back-handed home the rebound of his own shot, with assists to Joe Piskula and Chris Mueller. San Diego earned one point on a night where they reported eight injury scratches to forwards.
The Gulls travel on Friday to Citizens Business Bank Arena to take on the Ontario Reign, before returning to home ice on Saturday night against the Texas Stars.
NOTES: Gulls forward Nick Ritchie went scoreless on one shot, ending his eleven-game home points streak…San Diego lost for the first time all season when allowing two goals or fewer; the Gulls were 15-0-0 coming into the game when holding their opponent to under three goals…the Barracuda, scoring first, continued a season-long trend for the Gulls: San Diego has allowed the first goal in 13 of their past 14 losses…The Gulls saw forwards Robert Czarnik and Zac Larraza make their season debuts after being signed to professional try outs (PTO) from the ECHL…San Diego’s eight injury scratches were their season-high.
1st Star: SJ Karl Stollery (GWG); 2nd Star: SD Antoine Laganiere (1-0=1); 3rd star: SJ Mark Cundari (1-0=1)