The San Jose Barracuda evened the Pacific Divison Finals at a game apiece tonight after beating the San Diego Gulls 5-1 at the SAP Center. Troy Grosenick stopped 31 shots, while Ryan Carpenter added a goal and an assist to his AHL-leading point totals.
March free agent signing Nick Desimone opened the scoring with his first career AHL postseason goal 4:31 into the contest, giving the Barracuda a lead that they would never relinquish.
.@njdes gets things going early for the @sjbarracuda. #SJvsSD pic.twitter.com/2o56nSzwHb— AHL (@TheAHL) May 7, 2017
Minutes later, Carpenter doubled the Barracuda’s lead with the team’s second power play goal in as many games. Carpenter’s goal was his sixth of the postseason, two more than any other player this postseason.
.@CarpyDeuces' playoff resume:— AHL (@TheAHL) May 7, 2017
→ 7 games played
→ 6 goals
→ 3 assists pic.twitter.com/6gzIQqqogf
Buddy Robinson, acquired from Ottawa as part of the Tommy Wingels trade, joined the gaggle of players tied for second in the postseason goal-scoring race with his fourth of the playoffs just over a minute into the second period. Robinson faced little resistance from the Gulls’ defense as he gathered a bouncing puck in the slot, and fired it over Enroth’s left shoulder.
Definition of a greasy from @B_Robinson91 puts the 'Cuda up 3-0.— San Jose Barracuda (@sjbarracuda) May 7, 2017
: Chartier #SJBarracuda pic.twitter.com/0wKNJmqiE1
Sam Carrick put the Gulls on the board 3:53 in to the middle frame. Troy Grosenick could not catch Keaton Thompson’s point shot, and Carrick buried the rebound from in close to cut the lead to two goals.
The Barracuda regained a three-goal lead with their second power play goal of the game 12:22 later. Tim Heed’s slapper from the point rebounded off of Gulls goaltender Jhonas Enroth to the stick of rookie Adam Helewka, who tapped in the rebound for his first career AHL playoff goal to put San Jose up 4-1.
A from @Heed74 bounces to @AHelewka13 who guides the puck home for a PP . #SJBarracuda are up 4 - 1. pic.twitter.com/GQhACbD2LP— San Jose Barracuda (@sjbarracuda) May 7, 2017
That score held until the third period, when the Barracuda needed just 40 seconds to go up by four goals. Barclay Goodrow capitalized on Ryan Carpenter’s pass off of a two-on-one, giving the Barracuda a 5-1 lead.
A great pass from @CarpyDeuces and a great finish from @bgoodrow23 puts the 'Cuda up 5 - 1. #SJBarracuda #unFINished pic.twitter.com/NylBQZ8J9j— San Jose Barracuda (@sjbarracuda) May 7, 2017
That held as the final score, as the Barracuda and Gulls left the SAP Center ice with the series tied. San Jose matched their postseason-high scoring output with five goals, and allowed one goal (or less) for the third time in seven games.
The Barracuda controlled play from start to finish, outshooting the Gulls 42-32, and generating a large number of high-and-medium danger shots, as writer Zachary DeVine tracked tonight.
With the matchup all square, the series now shifts to San Diego for the next three games. The action resumes at the Valley View Casino Center on Wednesday at 7:00 PM.
Editor’s note: A headline for a previously version of this article mistakenly stated that the Barracuda won 5-2. We regret this error, and the headline has been updated with the proper score.