Looking to continue their upward swim to the top of the AHL Pacific Division standings, the San Jose Barracuda earned their 13th point in their last seven games as they defeated the San Diego Gulls (AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks) 2-1 in overtime at the Valley View Casino Center Wednesday night.
Barracuda defense Karl Stollery scored the game-winning-goal at 4:32 of overtime while goaltender Troy Grosenick finished with 24-saves, including a penalty shot save in the third period, for his ninth win of the season. In addition, Barracuda forward Nikita Jevpalovs dished out two assists while defenseman Mark Cundari had the Barracuda's regulation goal.
With the game scoreless through 48-minutes of play, Cundari put the Barracuda ahead 1-0 at 8:59 of the third period when he buried home a one-timer from deep in the right face-off circle past Gulls goaltender Anton Khudobin after pinching down from the right point. Jevpalovs, who fed Cundari with a sweet through-the-crease pass from behind the goal line on the left side near the corner, and forward Barclay Goodrow had the assists on the goal, which was Cundari's third of the season.
Just 66-seconds later, the Gulls were awarded a penalty shot when forward Kyle Bonis was taken down from behind by Barracuda defenseman Gus Young. On the ensuing penalty shot attempt, Grosenick made a right pad save on Bonis for his second penalty shot save at the Valley View Casino Center this season.
The Gulls pulled even 42-seconds later at 10:47 when off a failed clear attempt by the Barracuda, Gulls forward Antoine Laganiere lifted a backhanded rebound shot from the right side of the crease past Grosenick for his eighth goal of the season.
With under 40-seconds left in overtime, Laganiere had a golden opportunity to win the game for the Gulls with a wide open point blank chance off a centering feed from the right side but he deflected the puck wide to the left corner. The miss sent the Barracuda back the other way, and after leaving the puck on top of the right circle for Jevpalovs, Stollery cut to the left side and buried home a through-the-slot centering feed from Jevpalovs for the game-winning-goal, his third goal of the season.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 25-23 in favor of the Gulls... The Barracuda went 0-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill... Grosenick improved to 9-4-3 with a 2.96 goals-against-average and .903 save percentage... All three of Stollery's goals this season have been scored against the Gulls... Barracuda forward Alex Gallant fought Gulls defenseman (and team captain) Joe Piskula at 6:25 of the second period... Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer is two wins away from tying Fred "Bun" Cook for the most wins in AHL History (636)... The Barracuda are back in action on Jan. 15 when they travel to play the Rockford IceHogs with puck drop scheduled for 5 p.m./pt.
1. Karl Stollery - Barracuda (1-0-1, Overtime GWG)
2. Antoine Laganiere - Gulls (1-0-1)
3. Mark Cundari - Barracuda (1-0-1)
Goodrow / Carpenter / Emanuelsson
Goldobin / McCarthy (A) / Haley (A)
Lerg (C) / Langlois / Parkes
Gallant / Timmins / Jevpalovs
Young / Ryan
Stollery / Bergman
McNally / Cundari