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Dell spectacular but Barracuda offense no shows in shutout loss to Reign

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San Jose Barracuda goaltender Aaron Dell makes one of his 29-saves during Friday night's game against the Ontario Reign at the Citizens Business Bank Arena. (SJBarracuda.com via Dinur Blum)
San Jose Barracuda goaltender Aaron Dell makes one of his 29-saves during Friday night's game against the Ontario Reign at the Citizens Business Bank Arena. (SJBarracuda.com via Dinur Blum)

Five shots on goal.

That is all the San Jose Barracuda offense managed through the opening 40-minutes of play en route to a 1-0 shutout loss to the Ontario Reign (AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) Friday night at the Citizens Business Bank Arena.

The Barracuda, who suffered their seventh loss in their last eight games, were kept in the game by the stellar play of goaltender Aaron Dell, who finished with 29-saves, 22 of which came in the first two periods as the Barracuda were out-shot 23-5 after managing just one shot on goal in the second period.

The only goal of the game was scored at 13:52 of the first period by Reign forward Michael Mersch, who shuffled a rebound shot past Dell from the right side of the crease for a power play goal, his 17th goal of the season, after Dell had made the initial save on a center point wrist shot by Reign defenseman Kevin Gravel and the follow up rebound attempt by Reign forward Nic Dowd.

Though the Barracuda turned up their sense of urgency in the third period by putting 17 shots on goal, it was too little too late as Reign goaltender Peter Budaj turned all their shots aside to record his third straight shutout and AHL leading eighth of the season.

NOTES... Shots on goal were 30-22 in favor of the Reign... The Barracuda went 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill... Dell is now 7-9-5 with a 2.54 goals-against-average and .916 save percentage... The Barracuda were shutout for the sixth time this season... Barracuda defenseman Joakim Ryan missed his first game of the season due to a lower body injury... The Barracuda recalled defenseman Rick Pinkston from the Allen Americans of the ECHL on Feb. 4... The Barracuda fell to 9-6-6 on the road and 19-15-8 with 46 points overall... The Barracuda are back in action Saturday evening as they rematch the Reign with puck drop scheduled for 6 p.m./pt.

THREE STARS
1. Michael Mersh - Reign (1-0-1, GWG)
2. Peter Budaj - Reign (22 saves, Shutout Win)
3. Nic Dowd - Reign (0-1-1)

LINES
Goodrow / Carpenter / Parkes
Lerg (C) / Langlois / Smith
Haley (A) / McCarthy (A) / Goldobin
Torres / Doremus / Emanuelsson

DEFENSE
Stollery / Bergman
Young / Mueller
McNally / Cundari

GOALIES
Dell
Grosenick

SCRATCHES
Jevpalovs
Pinkston
Timmins
Gallant (inj)
McLaren (inj)
Ryan (inj)