San Jose, CA - The San Jose Barracuda (30-17-2-4) returned to the SAP Center on Wednesday to take on the Bakersfield Condors (35-16-2-1) (Edmonton Oilers) in the first game of a five-game home stand. A sluggish start proved costly as the Barracuda fell behind 4-0 in the first in an eventual 8-4 loss.
In the first, Bakersfield began its early onslaught as Tyler Benson (10) cashed in on a three-on-one at 7:49. Kailer Yamamoto (10) extended his teams lead to 2-0 with a tick-tack-toe with Cooper Marody before Yamamoto swiped in the feed under the left dot. At 15:36, Dave Gust (15) collected a rebound off Antoine Bibeau's right pad before sneaking in the loose puck at 15:36 from close range, ending Bibeau's night after giving up three goals on 12 shots. At 19:34, Mitch Callahan (11) completed the four-goal first after Josef Korenar failed to secure a loose puck and Callahan was able to poke it in on the power play.
In the second, Evan Polei (6) joined the party as he raddled in a shot from the crease at 2:27 to increase Bakersfield's lead to 5-0. The Barracuda would get one back on a breakaway goal by Antti Suomela (5), but William Lagesson (5) would blast a slap shot from atop the left circle to make it 6-1 Condors at 18:42.
The Barracuda made a game of it in the third and inched within two after netting three unanswered. Jake Middleton (4) punched in a seeing-eye slapper from the point at 3:26 and jammed in a loose puck from the low slot at 4:21 to make it 6-3 before Dylan Gambrell (16) connected on a pass from Alex True at 10:21. With a comeback within reach, San Jose's hopes were dashed when Polei (7) slipped in his second of the game at 13:22 and Joe Gambardella (27) cashed in on an empty-netter at 17:45.
In relief, Korenar took the loss (19-7-1) after giving four goals on 17 shots, while Shane Starrett claimed the win by making 33 saves on 37.
The Barracuda continue their homestand on Saturday against Bakersfield at 6 PM in the second game of the #HockeyDayInSanJose doubleheader. Saturday is Ninja Turtles Night as the Barracuda will be wearing specialty TMNT jerseys and the first 4,000 fans in attendance will receive a Radim Simek/Tomas Hertl bobblehead. Listen to all the broadcast action on the Sharks + SAP Center App, sjbarracuda.com/listen and watch at watchtheahl.com.