Prior to Sunday evening's game against the Texas Stars (AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars) at the SAP Center, San Jose Barracuda radio play-by-play announcer Eric Lindquist jokingly pointed to the stat sheet and told Barracuda forward Nikolay Goldobin, "Six goals Nikolay? I want eight after today."
Goldobin, whose mom traveled all day from Russia to be in attendance for the game, responded by registering his first career AHL hat trick and dished out an assist for a four point game in leading the Barracuda to a 5-1 win, their first ever three game winning streak and sixth win on home ice in their last eight home games.
Goaltender Alex Stalock, who on Sunday morning was reassigned from the San Jose Sharks to the Barracuda on a conditioning assignment along with forward Chris Tierney, made 21-saves for the win in his first AHL start since April 20, 2013.
Tierney, who centered a line with Goldobin and Jeremy Langlois on the wings, dished out two assists as the trio combined for six points on four goals (Langlois scored one as well) and two assists in their first game together. In addition, forward Ryan Carpenter extended his goal streak to three games and defenseman Gus Young dished out three assists.
It didn't take long for the newly formed line of Langlois, Tierney and Goldobin to strike as Tierney fed Goldobin a centering feed from behind the net that Goldobin buried home from on top of the crease for his first goal of the game and seventh of the season at 7:37 of the first period. Young had the secondary assist.
After a miscue by Barracuda defenseman Mirco Mueller in front of Stalock's crease led to Texas forward Jason Dickinson tying the game at 17:35, Langlois regained the Barracuda's one goal lead at 18:37 when he cut across the crease from the right circle and slid a backhanded shot off a sweet deke past Texas goaltender Philippe Desrosiers. Goldobin and Young had the assists on the goal, which was Langlois' seventh of the season.
With Stalock turning away Texas' offensive pressure in the second period by making seven saves, Goldobin extended the Barracuda lead to 3-1 at 10:35 with his second goal of the game, eighth of the season, off the rebound of his own shot from in close that was set up by a nice right side centering feed from Tierney. As was the case with Goldobin's first goal of the game, Young had the secondary assist on the Goldobin's second goal as well.
Any hopes Texas had of a third period comeback were slammed shut by Carpenter, who fired the puck into an open net at 1:53 for his fifth goal of the season after the initial shot from the left side by his linemate Barclay Goodrow rang off the post. Barracuda forward Trevor Parkes, who was playing his second game in as many days on the line with Carpenter and Goodrow due to an injury to their usual linemate Petter Emanuelsson, was credited with the secondary assist.
Goldobin completed the hat trick at 7:39 when he skated down a loose puck in the neutral zone along the left side, skated in all alone, cut across and slid a backhanded shot past Desrosiers for a 5-1 Barracuda lead.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 24-22 in favor of the Barracuda... The Barracuda went 0-for-3 on the power play (their third power play came with 13-seconds left in the third period) and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill... Stalock is 1-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against-average and .955 save percentage... In addition to his four point game, Goldobin also had a game high five shots on goal... Tierney, Goldobin, Young and defenseman Joakim Ryan all finished a game best plus-four... Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer picked up AHL win 631 and is only five wins away from tying Fred "Bun" Cook for the most wins in AHL history... The Barracuda improved to 8-7-1 at SAP Center and are 14-10-5 with 33 points overall... The Barracuda are back in action Wednesday night (Jan. 6) when they host the Stockton Heat at 7:30 p.m./pt.
1. Nikolay Goldobin - Barracuda (3-1-4)
2. Chris Tierney - Barracuda (0-2-2)
3. Alex Stalock - Barracuda (21 saves, Win)
*In order of appearance*
Lerg (C) / McCarthy (A) / Haley (A)
Goodrow / Carpenter / Parkes
Langlois / Tierney / Goldobin
Gallant / Jevpalovs / Mychin
*In order of appearance*
Stollery / Tennyson
Mueller / McNally