On a night when the San Jose Barracuda were out-shot 36-15, the "World's Okayest Goalie" Aaron Dell made 34 saves and dished out an assist to register his first career Calder Cup Playoff victory in leading the Barracuda to a 3-2 win over the Ontario Reign (AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) at SAP Center Saturday night.
Dell has stopped 69 of 73 shots on goal through the first two games of the series for a 2.01 goals-against-average and .945 save percentage. In addition, Dell has a two game point streak with two assists, which has him second on the Barracuda in team scoring.
The Barracuda, who will look to take a 2-1 series lead Thursday night in Ontario, got goals from forwards Ryan Carpenter, Bryan Lerg and Nikolay Goldobin, who redeemed himself by scoring what held up as the winning goal in the third period after taking two bad penalties, one of which occurred when the Barracuda were on their lone power play of the game in the second period and the other was a couple of shifts after the Reign had cut the Barracuda lead to 2-1 early in the third period. In addition, defenseman Joakim Ryan dished out three assists.
After a scoreless first period, Carpenter put the Barracuda ahead 1-0 at 3:58 of the second period when he deflected in Ryan's shot from the center point for his first goal of the playoffs, which was set up by forward Jeremy Langlois' check in the Reign zone that caused a turnover.
Lerg extended the lead to 2-0 at 13:37 with his first goal of the playoffs off a great individual effort that saw Lerg skate into the Reign zone down the right side, cut across and make a power move to the that ended up with the puck behind Reign goaltender Peter Budaj. Ryan and Dell picked up the assists on the goal.
The Reign turned up the pressure in the third period by out-shooting the Barracuda 13-3 and cut the Barracuda's lead in half at 2:40 when defenseman Kurtis MacDermid scored his second goal of the playoffs with a quick shot from the right point that got through traffic and beat Dell up high.
A shade over two minutes after serving his second minor penalty of the game, Goldobin scored his first career Calder Cup Playoff goal by finishing off a give-and-go with Langlois at 8:23. Ryan had the secondary assist on the goal that saw Langlois feed a cutting Goldobin with a through the slot pass from the right circle for what held up as the game winner.
With under a minute remaining in the period and Budaj pulled for the extra attacker, the Reign pulled to within a goal at 19:25 when forward Jonny Brodzinski scored his second goal of the playoffs but the Reign couldn't get the tying goal past Dell as the Barracuda held on for a 3-2 win to even the series one game a piece.
NOTES... The Barracuda went 0-for-1 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill... Prior to the game, Barracuda defenseman Matt Tennyson was recalled to the San Jose Sharks... Barracuda defenseman Patrick McNally played in his first Calder Cup Playoff game while forward Gabryel Boudreau made his professional debut and wore no. 49... This was the Barracuda's first ever Calder Cup Playoff victory... Game Three of the series has a scheduled faceoff time of 7:00 p.m/et.
1. Joakim Ryan - Barracuda (0-3-3)
2. Aaron Dell - Barracuda (34 saves, assist, Win)
3. Jeremy Langlois - Barracuda (0-1-1)
*In order of appearance*
Goodrow / Timmins / Carpenter
Morin / Langlois / Goldobin
Lerg (C) / McCarthy (A) / Parkes
Boudreau / Jevpalovs / Martin
Young / Ryan
Stollery (A) / Bergman
McNally / Mueller