Late Barracuda Goal Downs Gulls 3-2Mar 27, 2019
The Gulls fell to the San Jose Barracuda 3-2 tonight at Pechanga Arena. Despite the setback, San Diego has earned points in four of its last five games (3-1-0-1).
San Jose forward Alexander True broke a 2-2 deadlock with under five minutes in regulation with a power-play goal to edge the Gulls in the contest and move ahead of San Diego into second place in the Pacific Division as both teams are now tied with 73 points. San Jose hold the tiebreaker having played one fewer game.
“That’s what it’s like playing in this division,” said Adam Cracknell regarding the tight playoff race in the Pacific Division. “Especially this weekend coming up, we have Bakersfield next. We’re all right in the top-four and those are both big games. We’re fighting for home ice advantage right now. That was a tough one to give up, but in two days here, we get a chance to redeem ourselves.”
San Jose got off to the first lead of the game as Barracuda forward Dylan Gambrell fired a shot past Boyle 6:30 into the first period. The play was made possible by Jeffrey Truchon-Viel who made a hit that freed the puck for Gambrell.
The Barracuda lead was doubled not long after the first goal. A failed attempt to clear the puck out of their own zone resulted in Francis Perron with control. Perron dished the puck on a backhand pass to Nick DeSimone who fired a one-timer past Boyle at the 13:44 mark of the opening frame.
As time was expiring in the first period, the Gulls took a faceoff in the offensive zone. Carrick won it back to Chase De Leo, who redirected the puck to Ben Street. With just three seconds left in the first, Street wasted no time in one-timing the pass with a slap shot that beat Bibeau for San Diego’s first goal of the night.
De Leo extended his point streak to five games (2-5=7) with his team-leading 30th assist of the season. With the other assist, Sam Carrick now has 6-4=10 points in seven games against San Jose this season.
After the Gulls cycled the puck in San Jose’s zone, Adam Cracknell came out with the puck from behind the net. Cracknell took his time circling the net before shooting the puck past Bibeau’s blocker for his 16th marker on the season at the 14:15 mark of the second period.
“We did a good job cycling, getting them to move,” said Adam Cracknell regarding his goal. “Maybe they got a little puck-focused, I was able to drag it out and we had good movement. I had just enough time to pick my head up, pick a spot and it went in. I think we did a good job just getting to the net. We created a lot of chances off of that, we hit a post late. It could’ve went either, but it didn’t and that’s going to fuel us for the next game.”
Picking up his second point of the night (1G/1A), Street now has three multi-point games this season, his most recent also coming against the Barracuda. Brent Gates Jr. earned the first point of his professional career with the secondary assist on the goal.
“My line was really good,” said Brent Gates Jr. “I felt like all night I was able to make a simple play and they’re good enough players that they were able to make something out of it. That’s what happened on that goal. I just kept it simple and put it low.”
The Barracuda reclaimed the lead late in the third period with a power-play goal. With Corey Tropp serving a too many men penalty against the Gulls, Cavan Fitzgerald fired a low shot from just inside the blue line. Boyle made the first save and the second on a rebound opportunity by John McCarthy, but couldn’t stop the third, as Alexander True gave the Barracuda a 3-2 lead with 4:44 left to play in regulation. True has seven goals in eight games against San Diego this season.
The Gulls will continue their four-game homestand against the Bakersfield Condors on Friday, Mar. 29 (7 p.m..