*Author's Note: Apologies for the delay. There was an issue with the game on the AHL Live Service.*
In just his second professional game, 2012 San Jose Sharks draftee forward Daniel O'Regan scored the overtime game winning goal to give the San Jose Barracuda a 5-4 win over the Ontario Reign (AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Saturday night.
O'Regan, who was named the game's third star and has scored a goal in both games this season for the Barracuda, got behind the Reign defense in the neutral zone, corralled a stretch pass from Barracuda defenseman Tim Heed, skated in all alone on Reign goaltender Jonah Imoo, deked and buried home a backhander from on top of the crease at 3:29 of overtime to give the Barracuda their first win of the season.
Barracuda forward Nikolay Goldobin was named the game's second star after registering a three point game with a goal and two assists. In addition, Barracuda forwards Marcus Sorensen and Kevin Labanc each had a goal and an assist; Heed and defenseman Julius Bergman had three and two assists respectively; and goaltender Mantas Armalis made 11 saves on 15 shots faced to pick up his first win of the season.
Though the Barracuda skated away with the extra point in overtime, it was the Reign that struck first at 10:25 of the first period when forward Patrick Bjorkstrand beat Armalis with a wrist shot from on top of the left hash mark in the slot for a power play goal, his first goal of the season.
The Reign's lead didn't last long as Sorensen tied the game at 14:58 with a power play goal, his first goal of the season (and in North America), off a quick shot from deep inside the right circle after the Barracuda power play hemmed the Reign penalty killers inside their own zone for over a minute. O'Regan and Bergman were credited with the assists.
Early in the second period at 2:41, Labanc put the Barracuda ahead 2-1 with his first professional goal off a tip in front of a right point slap shot by Heed. Goldobin had the secondary assist on the goal.
Bjorkstrand pulled the Reign even with his second power play goal of the game at 5:14, this time with a rebound strike from on top of the crease after Armalis made the initial save on a slap shot from on top of the left circle by Reign defenseman Zach Leslie.
A little over three-and-a-half minutes later at 8:52, Barracuda defenseman Joakim Ryan regained the Cuda's one goal lead with his first goal of the season, a power play strike that saw Ryan beat Imoo over the shoulder with a snap shot from just in front of the faceoff dot in the left circle. Goldobin and Heed picked up the assists on the goal.
The Reign tied the game at 3-3 at 12:59 when off an offensive zone faceoff win in the Barracuda zone, Reign forward Brett Sutter deflected in front a left point wrist shot by Bjorkstrand.
Just 59-seconds later, Goldobin stepped into a snap shot from on top of the right circle after corralling a feed from Labanc and beat Imoo for his first goal of the season. Bergman registered his second assist of the game on the goal.
In the third period, an own zone turnover by Heed led to the tying goal for the Reign as Heed's no look backhanded clear attempt from near the left corner was intercepted in the slot by Reign forward Andrew Crescenzi, who fired the puck between the wickets of Armalis for his first goal of the season at 2:44.
At 13:31, it appeared O'Regan put the Barracuda ahead 5-4 as referee Mike Langin ruled on the ice that O'Regan's snap shot from on top of the circles had gone in despite the protest of Imoo, who was adamant the puck went off the crossbar. After a video review, the call on the ice was overturned.
In overtime, O'Regan left no doubt that the puck was in net on his game winning breakaway goal.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 31-15 in favor of the Barracuda... The Barracuda went 2-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-4 on the penalty kill... Armalis is now 1-0-0-0 with a 3.66 goals-against-average and . 778 save percentage... Labanc and Ryan each had a game high four shots on goal... Both of O'Regan's goals this season have been on breakaways... This was the first meeting between the Barracuda and Reign since Game Four of the AHL Pacific Division Semfinals series in the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, and the first of eight meetings between the two teams this season... The Barracuda improved to 1-1-0-0 on the road and 1-1-0-0 with two points overall... The Barracuda are back in action Oct. 28 when they host the Bakersfield Condors for their home opener at SAP Center.
1. Patrick Bjorkstrand - Reign (2-1-3)
2. Nikolay Goldobin - Barracuda (1-2-3)
3. Daniel O'Regan - Barracuda (1-1-2, OT GWG)
*In order of Appearance*
Goodrow (A) / Carpenter (A) / McCarthy (C)
Sorensen / O'Regan / Jevpalovs
Goldobin / Chartier / Labanc
Willows / Blackwell / Martin
*In order of Appearance*
Ryan / Heed
Mueller / Bergman
Middleton / McNally