El Segundo, Calif. – The San Jose Barracuda (1-1-0-1) continued exhibition play on Friday as they took on the Ontario Reign (Los Angeles Kings) (1-0-0-0) at the Toyota Sports Performance Center in El Segundo. Despite scoring 15 seconds into the game, the Barracuda would fall 3-2 in a shootout.
After scoring the first goal of his Barracuda career just 32 seconds into the game on Thursday, Kurtis Gabriel (2) waited just 15 ticks into Friday’s tilt against Ontario to pot his second of the preseason. Gabriel would redirect a Zach Gallant shot from atop the circle past Jean-Francois Berube. At 13:35, the Reign would manage to even the score on the power-play as 2020 second overall pick Quinton Byfield (1) took advantage of a fortuitous bounce on a partially blocked shot below the right circle, and slid it into the open net. In total, the Barracuda outshot Ontario 11/7 in the first.
In the second, with 51 seconds remaining in the frame, Ontario took its first lead as Blaine Byron (1) intercepted a neutral-zone pass, cut to the slot as he entered the attacking zone, and beat Josef Korenar with a quick snipe. Antti Suomela had a chance earlier in the period on a two-on-one rush but his shot from the far circle was turned aside by Berube. After two periods, the shots read 19 for each team.
In the third at 6:24, Ryan Merkley would find Jayden Halbgewachs (2) on the doorstep, tying the game at 2-2. With under five minutes to play, the Barracuda nearly regained their lead on a similar play, this time Thomas Gregoire would find Gallant for a glorious close-range opportunity, but it wouldn’t go and the score would remain level.
Halfway through the three-on-three overtime, Ontario rushed up the ice on a two-on-one but Korenar came up large with a game-saving stop. Neither team would generate much in the way of offense in the remaining two and a half minutes, resulting in a shootout.
In the shootout, Ontario would score on all three attempts and would pick the 3-2 win.
The Barracuda are back in preseason action on Wednesday at 4 p.m. as they take on the Tucson Roadrunners at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona.