For the second consecutive night, the San Jose Barracuda scored first and failed to hang on to the lead. San Jose lost Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals to the Grand Rapids Griffins 6-2, and will face elimination tomorrow night at Van Andel Arena.
Colin Blackwell opened the scoring on a penalty shot with his first postseason goal 13:57 into the contest, and San Jose took the one-goal lead into the second period. But the Barracuda trailed on the shot clock after 20 minutes, and the disparity worsened in the middle frame.
Grand Rapids exploded for four unanswered goals in the second period. Tyler Bertuzzi, Eric Tangradi, Tomas Nosek, and Martin Frk scored for the Griffins, who outshot the Barracuda 19-5 in the second period.
Adam Helewka cut into the Grand Rapids lead on the power play just under three minutes into into the third period. The two-goal deficit lasted very briefly.
Ben Street scored 50 seconds later to put the Griffins back up by three, and the game out of reach of the Barracuda. Evegeny Svechnikov gave Grand Rapids a four-goal lead with just under three minutes remaining in regulation.
The Barracuda now trail three games to one in the best-of-seven series, and face an uphill battle to prolong the series, as well as advance from it.
With the win tonight, Grand Rapids remained undefeated on home ice (6-0) this postseason. Additionally, a Roy Sommer-coached Sharks AHL affiliate has never come back from such a deficit.
San Jose will try to extend its season tomorrow night in Game 5 at 4:00 PM PST.