San Jose Barracuda goaltender Aaron Dell deserved better.
Despite finishing with 31-saves, 23 of which were made through 40-minutes of play, Dell was given one goal of offensive support for the fifth time in his last six starts by the Barracuda skaters, whose lackadaisical play and own zone turnovers resulted in the Charlotte Checkers (AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes) scoring three times in a near six-minute span of the third period en route to a 4-1 win at the SAP Center on Monday afternoon.
The Barracuda, who only had 10 shots on goal entering the third period and 21 for the game, had their lone goal scored by forward Micheal Haley, whose power play strike (sixth goal of the season) at 6:28 of the second period put the Barracuda up 1-0.
A bad slashing penalty taken by Barracuda defenseman Julius Bergman 2:23 of the third period led to the tying goal at 3:36 by Checkers forward Justin Shugg, who beat Dell with a snap shot form the left face-off circle for his fifth goal of the season.
Four-minutes later at 7:35, a turnover by the Barracuda behind their own net while on the power play resulted in a shorthanded goal for Checkers forward David Wohlberg, whose fifth goal of the season held up as the game-winner.
The Checkers got an insurance goal at 9:24 when forward Ethan Werek finished off a three-on-one rush with his first goal of the season that was sprung by a Barracuda turnover at their own blue line. At 17:27, Checkers forward Zach Boychuk sealed the win with an empty net goal, his third goal of the season.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 35-21 in favor of the Checkers... The Barracuda went 2-for-3 on the penalty kill and 1-for-6 on the power play... Dell's record fell to 4-6-2 with a 2.71 goals-against-average and .910 save percentage... Barracuda forward Nikolay Goldobin had a team high four shots on goal... Barracuda defenseman Rick Pinkston made his season debut as the Barracuda dressed seven defensemen and wore no. 43... Sharks defenseman Joakim Ryan and forward Jeremy Langlois picked up the assists on Haley's goal and now have three game point streaks with four assists each... Barracuda forward Ryan Carpenter had his five game point streak (1-10-11) snapped... The Barracuda fell to 6-7-1 at SAP Center and are 11-10-5 with 27 points overall... The Barracuda are back in action Dec. 30 as they rematch the Checkers with puck drop scheduled for 1:15 p.m./pt.
1. Justin Shugg - Checkers (1-1-2)
2. David Wohlberg - Checkers (1-1-2, GWG)
3. Ethan Werek - Checkers (1-0-1)
*In order of appearance*
Goodrow / Carpenter / Emanuelsson
Goldobin / Langlois / Parkes
Lerg (C) / McCarthy (A) / Haley
Jevpalovs / Hanson
*In order of appearance*
Young / Ryan
Stollery / Pinkston
Mueller / McNally
Cundary (Spengler Cup)