Gulls And Barracuda Series Tied

Photo: San Diego Gulls

By Thomas Harrington

The Gulls and Barracuda split two exciting, high-scoring games in their first-round series. It’s now a best of three series, with all three remaining games taking place in San Jose.

Gulls Rally Twice To Take Game 1

Game one didn’t start out great for San Diego. It wasn’t that San Diego was playing poorly, but every chance San Jose had, they buried. Just over six minutes into the game, the Barracuda had a 3-0 lead and things weren’t looking good for the Gulls. After the third goal was scored, Kevin Boyle was pulled and Jeff Glass replaced him. Less than a minute later, Jacob Larsson scored from the point, putting San Diego back in this game. Less than 40 seconds later, Sam Carrick scored to make it a one-goal game. A few minutes later, Kiefer Sherwood scored to tie the game at 3-3. San Jose pulled Antoine Bibeau and put Josef Korenar in. Just over 10 minutes into the game, each team had scored three goals and changed their goalie. Neither team managed to score again in the first.

In the second, it took a little while, but less than five minutes into the middle frame, San Jose scored to restore their lead. Halfway through the period, they made it 5-3. Despite going down by a multi-goal deficit again, the Gulls kept pushing, and Corey Tropp made it 5-4 a few minutes later. Before the period was over, Chase De Leo scored on a beautiful tip to make it 5-5. After 10 goals scored in the first two periods, neither team was able to score in the third and game one went to overtime. Just over a minute into the extra session, Max Jones had a partial breakaway, but Korenar made the save. However, Sherwood was following up the play and poked the loose puck home, giving the Gulls the 6-5 win and 1-0 series lead.

Gulls Drop Game 2

The Gulls didn’t have much time to celebrate their win since game two was the very next night. Glass and Korenar both started this game. After six goals were scored in the first period of game one, game two started out much quieter, with the Barracuda scoring the lone goal of the opening period. Early in the second, San Jose increased their lead to 2-0 on a five-on-three powerplay. However, just over 30 seconds later, Sam Steel fed De Leo on a two on one break for a shorthanded goal to make it 2-1. A few minutes later, San Jose scored to restore their two-goal lead, and the second ended with them up 3-1. After two relatively calm periods, the third period started out much the same. The Barracuda did a great job of playing superb team defense and shutting down San Diego’s vaunted offensive attack. However, after 55 minutes of relatively calm action, the final five minutes of this game was pretty crazy. It started out with Justin Kloos scoring to make it 3-2 with just over four minutes left in regulation. That goal gave San Diego life, and they started pouring on their attack. A few minutes later, Josh Mahura had a bomb from the point that beat the goalie, but it hit the post. Shortly after that, San Jose scored one of the weirder empty net goals that I’ve seen in a while. I didn’t realize that Glass had been pulled, neither did the announcers and based on how they were playing, I don’t think the players had realized it either.

Despite the 4-2 score, the Gulls pulled Glass again and kept pushing, and were rewarded with Steel scoring with less than 30 seconds left in the third. Off the following faceoff, the Gulls went with six skaters right away. Unfortunately, Ben Street and Trevor Murphy each thought the other was going to play the puck, and a Barracuda player jumped on the loose puck and scored into the empty net five seconds after Steel’s goal. The Gulls lost 5-3. In the final moments of this game, several fights and near line brawls broke out, and even Glass got in on the excitement. This wasn’t the Gulls’ best game, but it was a winnable one. If Mahura’s shot goes in, or either of those empty net goals doesn’t happen, the Gulls could have pulled off their second comeback win in as many nights. Unfortunately, none of that happened and the series is tied.

Series Shifts To San Jose

Game three will be Monday in San Jose. There’s no question, the Gulls have to have a better start to this game. In game one, they trailed 3-0, and in game two, they trailed 2-0. Other than their goal in overtime, they have yet to hold a lead in this series. It’s going to be hard to win two out of three in San Jose, but the Gulls are certainly good enough to do so, and it all starts on Monday night. In order to win, they’re going to need a much better start in the final games of this series.

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April 20th, 2019


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