May 6, 2017

The San Diego Gulls (4-3) dropped their first game of the Pacific Division Finals, 5-1, to the San Jose Barracuda (3-3) tonight at SAP Center. Five different Barracuda players scored on the night while goaltender Troy Grosenick stopped 31-of-32 shots in his fourth win of the postseason to even the series at 1-1.

For the second consecutive night the Barracuda got on the board first, but unlike Game 1 San Jose scored two goals in the opening 7:13 of the first period on goals from defenseman Nick DeSimone and forward Ryan Carpenter. DeSimone opened the scoring at 4:31 when Timo Meier’s shot deflected back into the slot off of Jaycob Megna and quickly buried a snap shot over Gulls goaltender Jhonas Enroth for his first goal of the postseason and a 1-0 San Jose lead.

Under three minutes later while on the power play with Scott Sabourin in the penalty box for goaltender interference, Carpenter scored his team-leading sixth of the postseason at 7:13 after coming off the half wall to pick the top, far-side corner over Enroth’s shoulder.

The Gulls made a late push to end the first period, generating the last seven shots on goal but couldn’t convert on several scoring chances from Austin Ortega, Jaycob Megna and Sam Carrick. After one period of play the Barracuda led 2-0 and outshot the Gulls 14-12.

The Barracuda extended their lead to 3-0 only 1:10 into the second period as Buddy Robinson found a loose puck sitting at the top of the crease and he roofed it into the top corner for his fourth goal of the postseason.

Sam Carrick gave the Gulls some life when he potted home a rebound off of Keaton Thompson’s point shot past Barracuda goaltender Troy Grosenick at 3:53 of the second frame. Thompson’s shot was initially blocked down low by traffic in front of the net, but Carrick who was quick to turn and smash the puck behind Grosenick for his second goal of the postseason.

San Jose regained their three-goal lead at 16:15 of the second period when Adam Helewka controversially deflected the puck into the San Diego net with his skate. The goal was reviewed by referees Reid Anderson and Tom Chmielewski and deemed a good goal, giving the Barracuda a 4-1 lead after two periods of play.

Only 40 seconds into the third period Barclay Goodrow converted a two-on-one rush to make it a 5-1 game early in the final frame. Ryan Carpenter rushed the puck into the zone after Gulls defenseman Keaton Thompson couldn’t intercept an outlet pass and found Goodrow on his strong side and his quick shot beat Enroth.

At 6:46 of the third period, Gulls goaltender Dustin Tokarski replaced Enroth between the pipes after Enroth made 30 saves in 46:46 time on ice. In 13:14 of relief, Tokarski stopped all seven shots faced.

The series will shift to San Diego for Game 3 on Wednesday, May 10 at Valley View Casino Center (7 p.m.). A limited number of tickets are available by visiting or by phone at (619) 359-4730.

NOTES: Keaton Thompson and Max Gortz each earned assists for the Gulls…Thompson has 2-1=3 points his last three games…the five goals against tied the most goals San Diego has allowed in a playoff game and most this postseason, the last occurring in Game 1 of the 2016 Pacific Division Finals on May 5 vs. Ontario.

Three Stars:
1. R. Carpenter (SJ)
2. T. Grosenick (SJ)
3. T. Meier (SJ)