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Stockton, Ca - The San Jose Barracuda (19-6-1-3) closed out 2018 with a 6-5 win over the Stockton Heat (14-15-3-0) (Calgary Flames) at Stockton Arena on Monday night. The win was San Jose's sixth straight in the Port City dating back to last year and improved the Barracuda to 9-3-1-2 on the road this season.
In the first, Jayden Halbgewachs worked his way around the entire offensive zone before circling around the net and finding Alex True (10) uncovered atop the crease on the left side and True tapped in the perfect feed to give the Barracuda the game's first lead. 40 seconds later, San Jose was called for hooking and on the man-advantage Kerby Rychel (15) cashed in as he received the third pass of a tick-tack-toe and put the feed from Matt Phillips in from close range past Josef Korenar. The Barracuda would grab the lead back at 16:47 as Max Letunovwould take nearly an identical path as Halbgewachs did on San Jose's first goal before he found Manny Wiederer (8) in the same spot and Wiederer, like True, put the perfect in from the left side. But as they did on San Jose's first goal, the Heat responded when Brett Pollock (2) potted a rebound off Korenar's left pad from the slow slot at 17:34 to even the score at 2-2.
In the second, Jon Martin (4) would regain San Jose's lead as he beat Parsonson a three-on-one at 1:49. But again, Stockton responded as Phillips (9) one-timed a Curtis Lazar pass from just below the right circle and then poked in the loose puck through Korenar's five-hole after the rookie netminder had made the initial save. San Jose would finally get some breathing room, netting three-straight to close out the period after Stockton had already come back three times. After not playing on Sunday, Vincent Praplan (2) raced in on net from the left wing, crossed the face of Parsons, and slid the puck under his left pad to make it 4-3 at 8:56. Halbgewachs (7) would give San Jose its first two-goal lead as True's stretch pass from the San Jose zone sprung Halbgewachs on a breakaway and the rookie would beat Parsons with a snapshot at 9:11. Praplan (3) would complete the four-goal period with his second of the game at 17:06, ending Parsons' night after allowing six goals on 31 San Jose shots.
In the third, Stockton again showed off its resilience. First Rob Hamilton (3) beat Korenar on the power play from the left point and then Ryan Lomberg (3) cleaned up a rebound above the crease at 11:38. Jon Gillies would stop all 15 shots in just over a period of relief, but Stockton's comeback attempt stalled as San Jose hunkered down defensively to improve to 6-1 against the Heat with a 6-5 win.
Korenar (13-1-1) picked up his seventh consecutive victory by making 21 saves on 26 shots, while Parsons (3-3-0) suffered the loss in 37 minutes and six seconds of work.
The Barracuda are back in action on Friday, January 4 at San Diego to face the Gulls and return to SAP Center at San Jose on Wednesday, January 9th when they take on the Ontario Reign (Los Angeles Kings) in another edition of five-dollar Wednesday walk-up, where fans can walk up to the box office and find five-dollar tickets for the contest.