For the eighth time in 10 meetings against the Stockton Heat (AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames) this season, the San Jose Barracuda skated away with two points after a 4-1 win at Stockton Arena Wednesday night.
Leading the way for the Barracuda was goaltender Aaron Dell, who finished with 30-saves, 16 of which came in the first period, and was five minutes (and change) away from his second shutout of the season. Scoring wise, forwards Nikolay Goldobin and Jeremy Morin each registered a goal and an assist while captain Bryan Lerg dished out two assists.
After a scoreless first period that saw the Barracuda out-shot 16-9, Goldobin put the Barracuda ahead 1-0 at 7:49 of the second period with a snap shot shot from deep in the right slot that beat Heat goaltender Kevin Poulin for a power play goal, Goldobin's 16th goal of the season. Lerg, who set Goldobin up with a behind the net pass on the right side, and Morin had the assists on the goal, which was Goldobin's third in his last three games.
Morin extended the lead to 2-0 at 14:43 with a shot from the right circle that beat Poulin far side for his 13th goal of the season and finished off an odd man rush with Goldobin, who picked up the primary assist while their center-man linemate Jeremy Langlois had the secondary assist.
Inside the opening four minutes of the third period at 3:32, Barracuda forward John McCarthy made it 3-0 with an insurance breakaway goal that saw McCarthy get behind the Heat defense and beat Poulin five hole for his 13th goal of the season. Lerg and Barracuda defenseman Patrick McNally had the assists on the goal, which gave McCarthy a point in 10 of his last 11 games.
Dell had his shutout bid spoiled at 14:54 by Heat forward Mitchell Heard, who from on top of the crease swept a backhanded shot past Dell on the far side for his first goal of the season. The momentum the Heat gained following Heard's goal didn't last long as Barracuda forward Barclay Goodrow got the goal back 53-seconds later with a backhanded shot from behind the goal line on the left side that surprised and beat Poulin after Poulin had stopped Goodrow's breakaway attempt.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 31-23 in favor of the Heat... The Barracuda went 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill... Dell improved to 12-11-5 with a 2.37 goals-against-average (10th in AHL) and .923 save percentage (fifth in AHL)... Morin had a team high four shots on goal... McCarthy has 14 points (8-6-14) in his last 11 games while Goldobin has eight points (5-3-8) in his last five games... For the season, the Barracuda have outscored the Heat 46-25... Goodrow's goal was his 17th of the season and was assisted by linemate Petter Emanuelsson... Morin has a point in all four games he's played in for the Barracuda (2-3-5)... The Barracuda remain .020 percentage points behind the San Diego Gulls for the third guaranteed playoff spot in the Pacific Division... The Barracuda improved to 12-8-7 on the road and 26-19-9 with 61 points overall... The Barracuda are back in action Saturday night (March. 12) when they travel to play the Bakersfield Condors with puck drop scheduled for 7:00 p.m/pt.
1, Aaron Dell - Barracuda (30 saves, WIN)
2. Nikolay Goldobin - Barracuda (1-1-2)
3. Mitchell Heard - Heat (1-0-1)
*In order of appearance*
Lerg (C) / McCarthy (A) / Haley (A)
Morin / Langlois / Goldobin
Emanuelsson / Carpenter / Goodrow
Jevpalovs / Doremus / Parkes
Young / Ryan
Stollery / Bergman
Mueller / McNally