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San Jose, CA - The San Jose Barracuda (30-18-2-4) welcomed the Bakersfield Condors (36-17-2-1) (Edmonton Oilers) into SAP Center at San Jose on Saturday evening for the third-consecutive meeting. A record setting crowd of 8,415 were on hand but a red-hot Condors team proved too much as San Jose was dealt its fourth-straight loss, 7-1.
Saturday's game was game two of a #HockeyDayInSanJose doubleheader as the Barracuda followed up a Sharks victory earlier in the day. Saturday was also Nickelodeon Night as the Barracuda wore specialty Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle jerseys and the first 4,000 fans received a Radim Simek/Tomas Hertl bobblehead.
Only four minutes into the first period the Condors opened up the scoring on their first shot of the evening. Logan Day sent a stretch pass up ice that sent Tyler Benson (11) on a breakaway and the rookie buried a wrister under the blocker of Josef Korenar to give Bakersfield a 1-0 lead at 4:34. With 5:12 remaining in the period, the Condors would score again, this time off of a faceoff following an icing call against the Barracuda. Luke Esposito won the draw back William Lagesson (6) who snapped a shot from the left point that beat a screened Korenar through the five-hole to extend the Condor' lead to 2-0.
San Jose's lone goal came at 5:31 of the second when a scramble broke out in front of the Bakersfield net and Maxim Letunov (10) poked the puck past the right skate of Condor' goaltender Shane Starrett. Just a minute and 10 seconds later the Condors would score twice to take a 4-1 lead. First, Benson would lead a rush for Bakersfield and drop a pass to Cooper Marody (14) who swiped in a quick shot from the slot past Korenar's glove to make it 3-1 Bakersfield at 13:31. 21 seconds later, Patrick Russell (16) spun a partially blocked Lagesson shot past Korenar from the slot at 6:41. Bakersfield would complete the three-goal period when Braden Christoffer (5) would pop in a loose puck from the low slot at 12:45.
San Jose headed into the third period facing a four-goal deficit, but seven minutes into the final frame the 'Cuda saw the deficit increase to five. Russell (17) took a cross-ice pass from Joe Gambardella and rocketed a one-timer through the right pad of Korenar to make it 6-1 on the power-play. And then Evan Polei (8) would wrap up the scoring for the Condors at 15:07 when he wired a shot under the cross bar from the top of the left circle.
Korenar (19-8-1) suffered the loss after giving up seven goals on 32 shots while Starrett (23-4-3) earned his 11th-straight road win by making 27 saves on 28 shots.
The Barracuda return to action on Sunday afternoon when they host the Stockton Heat (Calgary Flames) at 3PM inside SAP Center at San Jose. Sunday's game will be Pucks n' Paws day, so bring your dogs to SAP Center at San Jose and watch the Barracuda battle their Pacific Division rival. You can catch that game on the Sharks + SAP Center app, online at watchtheahl.com or on 1220 KDOW.