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San Diego, Ca - The San Jose Barracuda (15-3-1-3) scored the game's first two goals on Saturday at the Pachanga Arena against the San Diego Gulls (9-11-1-2) (Anaheim Ducks), but SD proved a harder out than anticipated, never leading at any point, before collecting a 4-3 shootout win the fifth round.
After Sam Carrick was popped for holding just 36 seconds into the game, Jayden Halbgewachs threaded a pass from below the right circle to a point-blank Alex True (8) who jammed in the feed to give the Barracuda an early lead. At 11:35 after John McCarthy picked the pocket of Troy Terry in the Barracuda end, San Jose rushed up ice the other way on a three-on-one and Antti Suomela's (1) would net his first AHL goal as his pass bounced off a backchecking Gull' who had went to his stomach to block the cross pass. Later in the period, Max Jones (6) inched the Gulls back within one by swiping in a rebound from close range after winning a 50/50 puck in the corner moments before.
In the second, Jones (7) would make his presence known again as a failed San Jose clear attempt bounced to the high-slot and the former first rounder snapped in the equalizer over Antoine Bibeau's left shoulder at 3:57. Neither team would score again in the period but the game would become heated as two separate fights would break out over the final 11 minutes. First Jeremy Roy and Carrick would scrap and then Jon Martin and Luke Schenn would dance.
In the third, both teams battled for the late lead, and Dylan Gambrell (5) proved to be the difference maker as he one-timed a right-point bomb over Kevin Boyle's shoulder at 6:43 to make it 3-2 San Jose, but the Gulls would again find a way to tie it as Carrick (11) bounced a pass off a Barracuda defender and in at 10:03 on the power play. The game would remain 3-3 through 60 minutes and in OT the Barracuda produced the only real scoring chance but Halbgewachs and McCarthy couldn't cash in on a two-on-one.
In a shootout, Suomela and Jones would score before Francis Perron, Troy Terry, Kyle Wood, and Carrick would be denied, forcing a fourth round. After Gambrell beat Boyle, Kalle Kossila kept SD's hopes alive with a goal before Adam Cracknell would win it after Alex True failed to beat Boyle on his shootout attempt.
The Barracuda are back in action on Sunday at Ontario (3 p.m.) before wrapping up their three-game road trip at San Diego on Wednesday. The Barracuda return to SAP Center at San Jose on Friday, December 21 for the fourth annual Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are encouraged bring new or lightly used bears to the game and throw them on the ice when San Jose scores its first goal. For more info go to sjbarracuda.com/promotions.