Gulls Storm BackDec 15, 2018
Adam Cracknell netted the shootout game-winning goal in his 500th career AHL game as the San Diego Gulls (9-11-1-2) defeated the San Jose Barracuda (15-3-1-3) in a 4-3 comeback victory at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
“We got down to an early two-goal deficit and guys just battled back,” said Gulls forward Sam Carrick. “It was a game we needed as a group. We could it coming. We could feel that we were starting to play better and things were going to start happening for us soon.”
San Jose jumped out to an early advantage as Jayden Halbgewachs snuck behind the Gulls defense before sliding a centering pass to Alexander True for the game’s opening goal. The goal came towards the end of the first power play of the game, 2:13 into the first period.
Barracuda rookie Antti Suomela capitalized on an odd-man rush, banking the puck off of Scott Moldenhauer’s skate for his first AHL goal at the 11:35 mark of the same period. Kyle Wood and John McCarthy each picked up an assist on the play.
Max Jones answered 1:53 later with his sixth goal of the season as he fought off a Barracuda defender and found the rebound of a shot by Jaycob Megna for the score. With an assist on the goal, Carrick recorded his 200th career AHL point.
Just under ten minutes later, Jones struck again to pull the Gulls even. With a Barracuda defender trying to clear the defensive zone, the puck deflected off Isac Lundestrom and directly to Jones in the slot. The rookie winger wristed a shot past Barracuda goaltender Antoine Bibeau to tie the game for the first multi-goal and fourth multi-point performance of the season.
“He was huge,” said Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins. “He got two goals. He drew three penalties. On one of the penalties, we score on the power play. It was just a great effort from a player that is going to have a very great career.”
Tempers flared in the second period as Carrick and Luke Schenn each picked up fighting majors 1:51 apart.
Dylan Gambrell put the Barracuda back in the lead with a slapshot from the point at the 6:43 mark of the third period. Wood added his second primary helper on the night for his team-leading 14th assist.
Only 3:20 later, Carrick redirected a puck to tie the game on the power play. With an assist in the first period and a fight in the second, the power-play goal completed Carrick’s Gordie Howe hat trick for his first since April 12, 2014 when he was playing for the Toronto Marlies. With a goal and an assist, Carrick has 2-3=5 points over his last three games played.
The game remained a tie after 60 minutes of action and an additional five minutes of overtime. The Gulls newest addition, Cracknell, scored in the fifth round of the shootout to end the game and give the packed San Diego crowd their seventh win of the season on home ice.
“There are still lots of hockey games left, so we’re not panicking by any means,” said Carrick. “But now is the time to go on a run, string a bunch of wins together, and climb back up the standings.”
The Gulls will continue their three-game homestand in a rematch against the Barracuda on Wednesday night, Dec. 19 (7 p.m., Radio: ESPN 1700).