Coming off a 50-save performance in a 4-2 win over the Ontario Reign Wednesday night, San Jose Barracuda goaltender Aaron Dell earned his second consecutive number one star of the game honors by turning aside all 30 shots on goal he faced to record the first ever Barracuda shutout in a 5-0 win over the San Antonio Rampage (AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche) on Pink in the Rink day Saturday afternoon at the SAP Center.
Dell, who has made 109 saves on 112 shot attempts in his last three starts, is now eighth in the AHL in goals-against-average (2.40) and fifth in save percentage (.923).
Scoring wise, the Barracuda had three players register two point games with forward Ben Smith scoring two goals, captain Bryan Lerg registering a goal and an assist, and forward Trevor Parkes dishing out two assists. The Barracuda also got goals from defenseman Patrick McNally, who scored his first professional goal, and forward Nikita Jevpalovs, who scored his first goal since the Barracuda Teddy Bear Toss Game back on Nov. 7, 2015.
In a first period that saw the Barracuda out-shoot the Rampage 20-8, Smith scored his first goal of the game at 10:48 when he got positioning in the slot and deflected in a right point shot from linemate Nikolay Goldobin for a power play goal, his fourth goal of the season. Lerg had the secondary assist on the goal, which came just 10-seconds into the power play opportunity.
McNally extended the lead to 2-0 at 2:25 of the second period off a slap shot from the left point that beat screened Rampage goaltender Roman Will after Parkes initial shot on goal was blocked by the Rampage defense. Lerg was credited with the secondary assist.
Jevpalovs made it 3-0 at 10:24 with a rebound strike for his third goal of the season after Will had stopped the first rebound attempt by Barracuda forward Scott Timmins and the initial shot from the right half board by defenseman Julius Bergman.
In the third period, the Barracuda ended any hopes the Rampage had of a comeback as Smith used his speed to skate down a puck in the neutral zone and beat Will on a breakaway with a backhanded shot for his second goal of the game at 4:26. Barracuda defenseman Joakim Ryan had the lone assist on the goal, which was Smith's fifth of the season.
Lerg made it 5-0 at 11:25 when he beat Will with a backhanded shot from on top of the crease for his 12th goal of the season. Lerg's linemates Jeremy Langlois and Parkes picked up the assists.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 43-30 in favor of the Barracuda... The Barracuda went 1-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill... Dell's overall record is now 9-9-5... Barracuda forwards Barclay Goodrow, Micheal Haley and Jevpalovs each had a team high five shots on goal... Earlier in the week, Barracuda defenseman Mirco Mueller was recalled to the San Jose Sharks... Lerg (2-2-4), Smith (4-1-5 and Goldobin (0-3-3) all have three game point streaks... Ryan was the only Barracuda skater to not have a shot on goal... The Barracuda improved to 12-9-2 at SAP Center and 21-16-8 with 50 points overall.. The Barracuda are back in action Valentine's Day afternoon as they host the Bakersfield Condors with puck drop scheduled for 3 p.m/pt.
1. Aaron Dell - Barracuda (30 saves, Shutout Win)
2. Ben Smith - Barracuda (2-0-2)
3. Nikita Jevpalovs - Barracuda (1-0-1)
Emanuelsson / Carpenter / Goodrow
Lerg (C) / Langlois / Parkes
Goldobin / McCarthy (A) / Smith
Haley (A) / Timmins / Jevpalovs
Young / Ryan
Stollery / Bergman
McNally / Pinkston