The San Jose Barracuda’s five-game winning streak may have came to a halt at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego on Saturday night, but the ’Cuda were able to bounce back after a 4-3 shootout loss to the San Diego Gulls with a big win over the Ontario Reign at the Citizens Business Bank Arena on Sunday. The win is that much sweeter, because the arena that has not been kind to them over the past three years.
Josef Korenar got the nod in goal for the Barracuda. So far this season, Korenar’s 1.99 goals against average (GAA) and .930 save percentage (SV%) is good enough for first in the AHL. Meanwhile, Peter Budaj interestingly got the call in net again for the Ontario Reign, making it back to back starts for him on the weekend. The 36-year old veteran from Slovakia has not had the best of seasons for the Reign, posting a 4.28 GAA and a .871 SV% — a far cry from his last season with the Reign in 2015-16, during which he won the Baz Bastien Award.
The Barracuda once again jumped out to a quick lead in the first period. Around eight minutes into the game, Nick DeSimone received a pass from Alexander True at the point, and took it alone to the net where he slid it past Budaj’s five-hole to give the ‘Cuda a 1-0 lead.
Right through the five-hole pic.twitter.com/ga37k89k5i— San Jose Barracuda (@sjbarracuda) December 16, 2018
A few minutes later, Jon Martin made his way onto the scoresheet for his second goal of the season. Martin caught a pass from Zach Frye and turned and shot it right past Budaj to give the Barracuda a 2-0 lead.
Alexander True began the second period in a big way. With two points on the game already (one primary, one secondary assist), Jacob Middleton whipped around a pass for True, and True threw it on net, while simultaneously being tripped up by Ontario’s Chaz Reddekopp for the 3-0 lead. Reddekopp was sent to the box immediately for tripping.
Stay hot @TheTrueAlex97 pic.twitter.com/OTaI9M4DpO— San Jose Barracuda (@sjbarracuda) December 17, 2018
Ontario eventually made an attempt to claw their way back into the game late in the second. A weird bounce off of Josef Korenar was tapped in by Ontario’s Kale Clague to put the Reign on the board.
Kale Of Duty. pic.twitter.com/y0NaUvxJ78— Ontario Reign (@ontarioreign) December 17, 2018
With just seconds to go in the second period, an errant pass went to the stick of Philippe Maillet, sending it to Matt Moulson who was waiting at the hash-marks to put it past Korenar to give the Reign even more life.
Ontario’s comeback attempt ended up being all for naught, however. Just one minute and seven seconds into the third period, Dylan Gambrell continued his hot streak. Thomas Gregoire sent a wrist-shot from the circle that Maxim Letunov almost got a stick on, but Dylan Gambrell was able to tap it home out of mid-air for the eventual game-winning goal.
That hand eye coordination by @D_Gambrell7 pic.twitter.com/PhZENwBjuC— San Jose Barracuda (@sjbarracuda) December 17, 2018
Francis Perron was able to get the dagger goal off a pass from who else, but Alexander True at the circle. The helper was True’s fourth point of the night, giving him the first star of the game.
The Barracuda next head back to San Diego on Wednesday night, before coming home for a weekend set with the Tucson Roadrunners. Friday night’s game will be Teddy Bear Toss night, so if you plan on going, make sure to bring a slightly-used or new teddy bear to throw on the ice when the Barracuda score their first goal of the game.