Gulls Win Game 1 in OT 6-5 in Thrilling ComebackApr 17, 2019
Kiefer Sherwood scored the game-winning goal 73 seconds into overtime to give the Gulls a 6-5 win and overcome 3-0 and 5-3 deficits to open the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. The game marked San Diego’s second-ever comeback win in the postseason (also Game 1 of the Pacific Division Finals, May 5, 2017 vs. San Jose, 3-2 OT win).
Five different skaters recorded multi-point games, including Sam Carrick who scored 1-2=3 points for his first career three-point playoff game and seventh multi-point game. Carrick is now tied for first in all-time playoff goals (5), ranks second in all-time playoff points (10) and tied second in all-time playoff assists (5).
San Diego score three goals in a span of 3:08 in the first period erasing the 3-0 deficit and tying a Gulls playoff record for goals in a single period set on two previous occasions (last: Game 5 of the First Round, May 2, 2017 vs. Ontario). In addition, the trio of goals set a new Gulls postseason record for the three earliest goals scored in a playoff game, surpassing the previous mark of 11:40 was also set in Game 5 of the First Round, May 2, 2017 vs. Ontario.
San Jose got off to an early lead and ran with it, scoring three goals in 2:58. The first began as Barracuda rookie Ivan Chekhovich made his way into the neutral zone weaving through several defenders and throwing a shot on net from the blueline. T.J. Hensick was in front of the net to redirect it past Boyle just 3:17 into the game for the first goal of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs.
The second San Jose goal came off a wraparound attempt by Jeffrey Truchon-Viel that snuck under Boyle’s right pad to double the lead. Dylan Gambrell scored the third Barracuda as he snapped a wrist shot past Boyle from the low slot, giving San Jose a 3-0 lead with 13:45 left in the opening frame.
Jeff Glass replaced Kevin Boyle in net for San Diego following the third San Jose goal. Glass made 27 saves on 29 shots in 54:58 of game time.
“[Glass] was calm and collected. He’s a great veteran guy, high character guy. His last few starts as we came up to the playoffs were really encouraging,” said Gulls head coach Eakins. “He’s one of those goalies that just plain battles. He was what we needed. He got in there, made a couple saves for us and the guys kind of fed off of that. I thought he was solid throughout the game.”
Down three goals just six minutes into the first period, the Gulls responded with three quick goals of their own, evening the game in a span of 3:08.
Jacob Larsson put San Diego on the board with his first career Calder Cup Playoffs goal. Adam Cracknell and Matt Berry rushed the puck into the zone, with Berry sending a pass to Simon Benoit at the left point. Benoit slid a pass across the blue line to Larsson, who quickly fired a long wrist shot through traffic in front of the net and past San Jose netminder Antoine Bibeau.
The score marked Larsson’s first career playoff goal in his second AHL playoff game. Berry and Benoit both collected on the play to pick up their first career playoff assists.
On the very next shift, the Gulls’ veteran forward line of Sam Carrick, Corey Tropp, and Ben Street finished off an extended shift and netted San Diego’s second goal. In a play that coaches love to see, Carrick fought off a check from two Barracuda defenders and threw a pass behind the net to Street, keeping the offensive pressure going. Carrick wasted no time in returning to the slot to collect Street’s pass and fire a shot over the right pad of Bibeau, cutting the deficit to one just 37 seconds after Larsson’s goal. The goal is Carrick’s 11th career Calder Cup Playoffs goal and his fifth with San Diego.
Kiefer Sherwood capped San Diego’s three-goal response as he beat Bibeau with a wrist shot on an odd-man rush with Ben Street at the 10:18 mark of the opening frame. Larsson started the play with a clean breakout pass to Sam Carrick who spotted Sherwood in full stride down right wing and set up the rookie winger for the scoring chance. The score marks Sherwood’s first playoff goal in his first AHL playoff game.
San Jose stopped the bleeding and reclaimed the lead 4:47 into the second period. Gambrell took a pass from Hensick and immediately gave it to Chekhovich who was in position for a one-timer from the slot. The quick wrist shot beat Glass and marked Chekhovich and Gambrell’s second points of the night.
Building off the momentum, John McCarthy extended the lead to two as he finished off a backdoor pass from Evan Weinger, putting San Jose ahead 5-3 with 9:26 left in the middle period.
Down by two goals, it was again the trio of Carrick, Tropp and Street that sparked San Diego. After another long shift in the San Jose zone, Carrick collected the puck off the right wing wall, stepped into the middle of the ice, and took a high slapshot. Korenar made the first save, but Tropp beat everyone to the rebound, sliding it between the San Jose netminder’s legs to pull San Diego at the 14:47 mark of the second period. Carrick collected the primary assist on the play.
Just 1:48 later, the Gulls tied the game for a second time on an incredible deflection by Chase De Leo. Justin Kloos took the puck into the San Jose zone down right wing before throwing a long wrist shot on goal. De Leo found his way behind both defensemen and redirected the puck in mid-air past Korenar.
“We’ve got a really good group of guys,” said Jones. “I think everyone knows that no matter what the circumstance is, it doesn’t really matter as long as we’re working hard and playing our game, then anything can be achieved. We all believe in each other. I know every guy in there believes in me and I believe in every single guy in there. That’s what makes us such a strong hockey team.”
Both teams traded chances in the third, including a power play opportunity for the Gulls, but neither team could score a goal. The first contest of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs required an overtime to decide the game.
Just over a minute into the overtime, Jake Dotchin shot the puck from deep in his own zone to the other end of the ice. Max Jones broke into the zone and retrieved the puck, taking away the icing call. In an attempt to take it around Korenar, Jones almost found the back of the net, but Sherwood was right behind him on the play to finish the job for his second goal and first game-winner in his Calder Cup Playoff debut
The First Round series against the San Jose Barracuda will resume tomorrow with Game 2, Apr. 18 at Pechanga Arena (7 p.m., TV: FOX 5 San Diego). Following tomorrow, the series will shift to the SAP Center in San Jose for Game 3 on Monday, Apr. 22 (7 p.m.), and if necessary, Game 4 on Wednesday, Apr. 24 (7 p.m.) and Game 5 on Thursday, Apr. 25 (7 p.m.).