Barracuda Edged in Playoff Opener, 6-5
San Diego, Ca - The San Jose Barracuda (0-1) twice held multi-goal leads on Wednesday at the Pechanga Arena in game one of the best-of-five divisional semifinal matchup, but the San Diego Gulls (1-0) (Anaheim Ducks) managed to come back twice before taking a 1-0 series lead with a 6-5 overtime win.
The Barracuda exploded offensively in the first, netting three goals in the first 6 minutes and 15 seconds, ending starting netminder Kevin Boyle's playoff debut early. T. J. Hensick (1) opened up the scoring at 3:17 as he deflected a right-point shot from Ivan Chekhovich. At 5:27, Jeffrey Viel (1) made it 2-0 as he wrapped one in through Boyle's five-hole at 5:27. Dylan Gambrell (1) would end Boyle's night at 6:15 as he worked around the net and fired a shot from close-range along the left side. But the Gulls would find their legs as Jacob Larsson (1) netted a right-point wrister at 7:10 on San Diego's second shot. On the Gulls third shot, they'd inch within a goal, when Ben Street found Sam Carrick (1) in the slot and Carrick fired in the one-timer. The Gulls completed the three-goal comeback, ending Antoine Bibeau's night after giving up three goals on eight shots, in 10 minutes and 18 seconds of play. Kiefer Sherwood (1) moved swiftly into the offensive zone down the right wing before snapping a shot off the far post to tie the game at 3-3. The game would remain tied through 20 minutes as Josef Korenar made a brilliant back-door right-pad stop on a pinching Jake Dotchin.
In the second, the Barracuda would go back up, as Gambrell found Chekhovich (1) in the slot at 4:47. And then, Evan Weinger circled the net before threading a backdoor feed to John McCarthy (1). But as they did in the first, SD would answer. Corey Tropp (1) made it 5-4 by poking a loose puck through Korenar's five-hole at 14:47. At 16:35, the Gulls would draw even at 5-5 as Chase De Leo (1) tipped a Justin Kloos thread-pass just inside the far post as De Leo moved toward the net.
In the third, San Jose was outshot 13-to-nine but the game would need overtime to decide it. In overtime, Max Jones powered to the San Jose net and as Korenar seemed to have secured the puck under his pad, Sherwood (2) jammed in both the puck and the San Jose goaltender to win it at 1:13.
In relief, Korenar (0-1) suffered the loss after giving up three goals on 34 shots, while Jeff Glass (1-0) earned the win in relief as he stopped 27 of 29.
The San Jose Barracuda continue their best-of-five divisional semifinal series against San Diego at the Pechanga Arena on Thursday before returning to the SAP Center for game three on Monday. All Barracuda Calder Cup action can be heard live on 1220 KDOW, the Sharks + SAP Center App and watched on watchtheahl.com.
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