San Jose Barracuda goaltender Aaron Dell made 33-saves to register his third shutout of the season as the Barracuda kept their AHL Calder Cup Playoff hopes alive with a 3-0 win over the Texas Stars (AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars) at the Cedar Rapids Center Friday night.
The Barracuda, who improved their win percentage to .546 and gained ground on the idle Charlotte Checkers (.556 win percentage) for the final playoff spot in the AHL Western Conference, got goals from forwards Bryan Lerg, Nikolay Goldobin and defenseman Julius Bergman. In addition, forward John McCarthy dished out two assists.
Lerg, who scored the first goal for the second consecutive game, scored what held up as the game-winning-goal at 7:30 of the first period with a no look backhanded shot from deep inside the left faceoff circle that beat Texas goaltender Maxime Legace for his team leading 21st goal of the season. McCarthy and Barracuda defenseman Mirco Mueller were credited with the assists.
In the second period, Dell made 16 saves as the Barracuda were out-shot 16-3 but scored the period's lone goal just 52-seconds into the period when defenseman Julius Bergman buried home a one-timer from deep inside the left faceoff circle for a power play goal, his third goal of the season. Barracuda forwards Ryan Carpenter, who fed Bergman with a through the slot pass, and Nikita Jevpalovs had the assists on the goal, which was Bergman's first professional power play goal.
Dell made 11 more saves in the third period and Goldobin scored an empty net goal at 17:33 to seal a Barracuda victory.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 33-19 in favor of Texas... The Barracuda went 1-for-7 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill... Dell is now 16-14-6 with a 2.25 goals-against-average (fourth in AHL) and .926 save percentage (fourth in AHL)... Lerg had a game high five shots on goal... McCarthy and forward Jeremy Morin had the assists on Goldobin's empty net goal... The Barracuda were assessed a season high 39 penalty minutes, 35 of which came in the second period as forward Trevor Parkes received 10 minutes for a game misconduct and defenseman Gus Young received 17 minutes for standing up for defensive partner Joakim Ryan after he was drilled into the boards by Texas forward Brendan Troock... Parkes finished with 12 penalty minutes while Young finished with 19... Carpenter extended his point streak to six games (2-5-7)... The Barracuda improved to 13-11-8 on the road and 30-24-11 with 71 points overall... The Barracuda rematch Texas Saturday evening with puck drop scheduled for 5 p.m/pt.
1. Aaron Dell - Barracuda (33 saves, Shutout Win)
2. Bryan Lerg - Barracuda (1-0-1, GWG)
3. Brendan Ranford - Texas (3 shots on goal)
Lerg (C) / McCarthy (A) / Morin
Goodrow / Carpenter / Timmins
Goldobin / Langlois / Parkes
Gallant / Jevpalovs / Martin
Young / Ryan
Stollery (A) / Bergman
Mueller / McNally