Sherwood Tricks Barracuda
Winger scores first career hat trick; first Gull to score two shorthanded goals in a single gameJan 31, 2020
Kiefer Sherwood recorded his first professional hat trick as the Gulls beat the San Jose Barracuda 5-3 at Pechanga Arena San Diego. The Gulls second half success continues as they have now picked up points in seven of their last eight games (6-1-1-0).
Sherwood’s hat trick included a single-game club record of two shorthanded goals and his first career penalty shot. The three-goal performance also marks the second home hat trick in club history, the first also coming against San Jose when Sam Carrick netted three on Nov. 13.
“Seeing him out there with his energy, it’s definitely one of the funnier hat tricks I’ve seen, a penalty shot and two shorties,” said Andrew Poturalski. “Those shots were unreal, that’s high caliber scoring right there. For him to do that gets us going and it gets us all pumped up, so that’s really cool.”
San Diego scored two shorthanded goals to mark 14 this season, setting a new single-season club record, surpassing the 12 scored in 2018-19. San Diego’s penalty kill co-leads the AHL in shorthanded goals, leads in home shorthanded goals (9) and a goal differential of -10 overall (24 power-play goals against, 14 shorthanded goals).
“It’s a great sign for us,” said head coach Kevin Dineen. “It’s one of those areas for us that we don’t only expect to kill off the penalty, but that we can be lethal on it on the offensive side.”
Gulls captain Sam Carrick extended his point streak to three games with two assists (1-3=4), marking 31 points in 30 games (18-13=31). Stolarz made a season-high 41 saves on San Jose’s 44 shots, improving to 5-0-1 in his last six starts in which he has posted a 2.46 goals-against average (GAA) and a .931 save percentage (SV%).
San Jose got on the scoreboard first with a score just 1:24 into the game. San Jose’s Evan Weinger picked up the puck and pushed it to Lukas Radil who walked it to the top of the circle. Radil sent a wrister at Anthony Stolarz, whose stick was knocked out of his hands earlier, and the puck found the back of the net to give the Barracuda an early 1-0 lead.
San Diego responded 20 seconds later on a penalty shot goal by Sherwood. The winger was tripped by San Jose’s Alex True on a breakaway attempt and was awarded a chance to tie the game with a penalty shot. Sherwood skated in to the left side of the Barracuda zone and came back toward the slot before beating Barracuda netminder Zachary Sawchenko on his glove side to knot the score 1-1.
Gulls center Chris Mueller netted his 13th goal of the season to give San Diego a 2-1 lead 7:42 into the game. Chase De Leo received the puck in the slot and passed it to Isac Lundestrom who fired a shot at Sawchenko. Mueller deflected the puck on net, hopped on his own rebound and pushed the puck across the line for the score. With the assist, Lundestrom now has three assists (0-3=3) in his last two games.
Maxim Letunov tied the score at two apiece with 9:25 left in the opening period, but it would be Sherwood that would have the final say in the period. With Max Comtois in the box for a high-sticking infraction, Carrick collected the puck with 10 seconds remaining in the frame and played the puck off the board to Sherwood. He raced past a pair of defenders and elevated a shot over Sawchenko’s glove to score his second goal of the night with 3.4 seconds in the period.
The Gulls extended the lead to 4-2 with 7:29 remaining in the second period. Justin Kloos fired a shot that was blocked by San Jose’s Trevor Carrick. Kloos jumped on the loose puck in the slot and fired another shot, this time, finding the back of the net. Sam Carrick registered his second assist of the night on the goal.
Despite being outshot 31-23, the Gulls held a 4-2 lead after the first 40 minutes of play.
Sherwood completed his hat trick with his second shorthanded goal of the night, 5:59 into the final period. A turnover deep in the Barracuda zone resulted in De Leo gaining possession of the puck, before finding Sherwood at the top of the circle, firing a wrist shot past Sawchenko to give the Gulls a 5-2 lead.
San Jose scored with 2:05 left to cut the San Diego lead to 5-3 as Letunov found the puck after a scramble in front of the net and backhanded the puck across the goal line for his second score of the night.
“We don’t want to give up 42 shots. Anthony Stolarz was stellar, he really was,” added Dineen. “There were areas of our game that we continue to talk about. The play along the boards. Our play on our rush coverage, we have to tighten some areas up. When we play the game the right way, the game is simple, we roll lines, everybody's engaged. When we cheat a little bit, we end up like that, you’re giving up too many shots which is something we have to address.”
Overshadowed by the notable night, right wing Andrew Poturalski made his return to the lineup, recording two shots after missing 33 games due to a broken wrist. The game marked the first win that he has been a part of this season.
“It’s definitely good for me to get that first win,” said Poturalski. “When I was first playing, we were 0-6 and then I got hurt, so it’s been a long time coming. The boys are giving me some crap in there, but it’s definitely good to get that first win and be a part of it.”
The Gulls conclude their back-to-back set tomorrow afternoon with their fifth annual Pink in the Rink themed night against the Ontario Reign at Pechanga Arena San Diego (4 p.m. PT).