Gulls Grab Crucial Point in Overtime Loss
Move into a tie with Ontario Reign; ahead in standings on tiebreakersMar 6, 2020
The Gulls four-game win streak against the Barracuda was snapped in a 3-2 overtime setback Friday night at SAP Center. Gaining a standings points in overtime, San Diego has earned points in eight of the last nine contests (6-1-2-0) and improved to 8-2-3 the last 13 road contests to move into the fourth and final playoff position in the Pacific Division.
The Gulls negated all three of San Jose’s power-play chances and added a shorthanded goal in the overtime setback. San Diego have killed 81 of their last 92 penalties (88%) and now rank tied for second among AHL clubs in road penalty kill percentage (86.0).
Justin Kloos scored to move into third place among San Diego scoring leaders (11-17=28). Alex Broadhurst tallied an assist to extend his point streak to three games (1-2=3), also posting 3-7=10 points over his last nine games. Chris Mueller also picked up and assist to continue a five-game point streak against San Jose (3-2=5).
Kloos opened the scoring with his 11th goal of the season 5:45 into the opening period. After stealing the puck in the Barracuda zone, Kloos took the puck around the net and fired a shot on San Jose netminder Zachary Sawchenko. The initial shot was blocked as well as Chris Mueller’s rebound opportunity, but Kloos followed through on the play and scored on a third chance.
In his return from a seven-game absence due to injury, Andrew Poturalski earned an assist on the goal when he helped win a battle for the puck behind the San Jose net. The right wing has recorded 1-5=6 points his last nine games.
As time in the first period was nearing an end, San Jose took a missed pass in their own zone and created a 2-on-1 rush down the other end of the ice. Barracuda rookie Joachim Blichfeld got a pass to Lukas Radil for a prime scoring opportunity, but Stolarz came up with a big pad save to continue the Gulls lead. However, Scott Moldenhauer was given a slashing penalty in an attempt to break up the play.
Just before the Gulls killed the penalty, Chris Wideman cleared the puck over the boards and was sent to the box for delay of game. De Leo stole the puck after a defensive zone faceoff and cleared the puck down the ice to Sawchenko. The puck hit the goaltender and bounced out to the open ice where Broadhurst was able to get another shot on net. His wrist shot was stopped, but he got the rebound and threw a pass to De Leo in the slot to tap in the net for a shorthanded goal 2:05 into the middle frame. The shorthanded goal marked the 16th on the season for the Gulls, third among AHL clubs.
San Jose would start their comeback as they evened the score with back-to-back goals separated by 108 seconds. After an impressive save on a shot after a mishandled puck, Stolarz returned to the net to readjust his pads, but Sasha Chmelevski threw a quick shot on net before Stolarz was set and scored at the 18:05 mark of the second frame. With seven seconds left in the period, Barracuda defenseman Nick DeSimone got a shot through traffic and past Stolarz to tie the game headed into the second intermission.
Despite three third-period power plays, the Gulls came up empty on the man advantage with five total opportunities.
Stolarz came up clutch in the final minutes to send the game to overtime and earn a point.
In overtime, San Jose controlled possession for the duration of the extra session, Entering the zone on his backhand and keeping it there across the middle of the ice, Jayden Halbgewachs shoveled shot on his backhand squeaked through Stolarz to end the game 37 seconds into the extra period.
The Gulls will continue their club-record seven-game road trip and conclude the back-to-back against the Barracuda Saturday night SAP Center (8 p.m.).