Stockton, CA - In the first game back from the All-Star break, the San Jose Barracuda(25-8-2-4) made it seven straight wins against the Stockton Heat (18-21-4-1) (Calgary Flames) by earning a victory on Friday night at the Stockton Arena, 6-4. The win was the 750th of Barracuda Head Coach Roy Sommer's legendary career. Sommer is now 750-639-48-78-73 over his 21-year AHL coaching tenure.
In the first, Jeffrey Viel (7) opened up the scoring as snapped a 12-game goalless drought by whipping a shot inside the left post from the right wing at 6:12. San Jose made it 2-0 asAlex True (13) sniped a snapper over the right shoulder of Jon Gillies as True moved in from along the left side at 7:56. Curtis Lazar (15), Stockton's only All-Star, inched the Heat within one at 7:56 as he punched in a loose puck that was originally blocked by a San Jose defender.
Francis Perron (14) regained San Jose's two-goal lead as Rourke Chartier found the All-Star in the low slot from below the goal line at 1:49 of the second and then Dylan Gambrell (10) one-timed in a rope from the left wing at 6:21 to make it 4-1 San Jose, ending Gillies night after 26 minutes 21 seconds of work. But again Stockton would get one back. This time Tyler Graovac (16) would deflect in a point shot on the power play at 17:03.
In the third, the Heat would complete the comeback as Dillon Dube (5) would swipe in aSpencer Foo pass from along the left wing at 9:31 and then Jusso Valimaki (1) would rip one past Josef Korenar as he drifted uncovered to the net from the right point at 11:15. Tied at 4-4, and the momentum in favor of the home team, True (14) would race into the offensive zone, veer wide, and wrap the puck in at 12:49 to make it 5-4. At 16:30, Gambrell (11) put the game away as he redirected a Kyle Wood point shot past Tyler Parsons.
Korenar (16-3-1) earned his third consecutive win and improved to 5-0 against Stockton by making 32 saves on 36 shots. Despite making several key stops in relief, Parsons (6-5-1) who worked the final 33 minutes and 39 seconds, took the loss after allowing two goals 22 shots.
The San Jose Barracuda and Stockton Heat do it again on Saturday (1:15 p.m.) at the SAP Center for the first game of a #HockeyDayInSanJose doubleheader. The Sharks and Arizona Coyotes will play the second game of two at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Kentucky Thoroughblades Day presented my Meriwest Credit Union as the #SJBarracuda will honor the Sharks AHL affiliate from 1996-2001 and wear specialty throwback jerseys. Go to sjbarracuda.com for tickets.