|(Photo by Andreea Cardani/SJ Barracuda)|
San Jose, CA - Patrick Sieloff scored his first AHL goal in nearly two years but it came when it counted - in overtime, as the San Jose Barracuda eked out a 5-4 overtime win over the Texas Stars in front of 2,272 at Tech CU Arena Saturday.
A night after the Texas Stars ran away with a 6-2 victory on Friday - a game Texas never trailed; the Stars conversely managed to gut it out to salvage a point in the standings in a game that they never led and had much disdain as evidenced by the 77 minutes of penalties doled out.
Texas got behind the eight-ball early in the first when the Stars were unable to clear the zone and Brandon Coe, on San Jose's first shot of the night, lifted one over Stars starting netminder Dylan Wells despite the goal being off of its moorings just 3:50 into the game to give the Cuda the opening lead at 1-0.
Coming off of a Stars power play late in the period San Jose doubled up with 5:41 left in the opening period when Danil Gushchin took a zone-to-zone pass and was able to walk right into the slot and blast one past Wells, making it 2-0.
With time waning in the first and the Cuda surging and on the power play, Texas crawled back into the game when Todd Harley broke up a pass at the Stars defensive blueline and poked it up ahead to Nick Caamano and it was off to the races on a one-on-none breakaway that the fifth-year pro backhanded five-hole past San Jose goalie Aaron Dell making it 2-1 on Caamano's second goal and first shorty of the season with 3:18 left in the period.
Texas killed the remainder of the penalty and the teams headed to the first intermission with the Barracuda maintaining their 2-1 lead, despite being outshot 11-9 for the stanza.
San Jose extended their lead early in the second when Tristen Robins, in front of the net, lifted a shot over the right shoulder of Wells 1:34 into the middle frame to make it 3-1 Cuda, ending the netminder's second start with the Stars early and bringing rookie Remi Poirier in from the bullpen.
With the possible spark provided by the goalie change, Texas climbed right back into the game when Riley Barber fielded a Ben Gleason pass and tapped it past Dell with his team-leading 28th goal of the season to make it 3-2 just 5:25 into the second stanza.
Texas continued to battle and the effort paid off when Rhett Gardner, fresh from an eight-stitch visit from the medical room and wearing a full-bubble facemask, tied the game 3-3 with 6:15 left in the second after taking a pass from Caamano in the high slot before firing it past Dell's right pad.
Gardner's goal, his eighth of the season, seemingly sparked some intensity into the game as San Jose began to take some bad penalties. Texas had a chance on the 5-on-3 late in the period but was unable to convert.
The chipiness sunk further when Marian Studenic checked Andrew Agozzino into the boards as the horn sounded and chaos ensued with multiple scrums spilling out of the fracas and ultimately Ben Gleason dropping the gloves with Patrick Holway. Once the dust settled, 27 minutes of penalty time was meted out, with Studenic being hit with a five-minute major.
The ice was cleared and the teams headed to the second intermission with the teams knotted at 3-3 in spits of Texas having outshot San Jose 14-6, giving them a 25-15 edge for the game though forty minutes.
Texas was able to come off of the 4-on-4 and then the three minutes left on the Studenic major unscathed, however the Cuda reclaimed their lead when former Star Jacob Peterson picked off a clearing pass and walked right in and ripped one past Poirier to make it 4-3 just 5:09 into the third.
As they had all night, Texas crawled their way back into the game just over four minutes later when Barber fielded a loose puck below the goal line and fired it to the front of the net where it caught Dell's skate and bounded into the net to knot the game back up at 4-4 with 10:25 left in regulation.
Despite being outshot 15-5 for the third, Texas caught a break late in regulation when Roman Kinal was called for a slash. Texas, not having a problem going to overtime did a good job of possessing the puck for 1:20 before the delayed whistle was blown.
The Stars were unable to convert in the remaining 47 seconds of regulation on the power play but had 1:13 banked on the man-advantage to start the overtime session.
Unfortunately for Texas, they were unable to take advantage on any of the three shots taken on the bonus-time power play and as seen so often, San Jose, possibly lifted by the important kill, went on the attack and the Barracuda converted when Peterson capped his three-point night when from the right corner he fed the puck in front of the net and Sieloff fired it past Poirier for his first goal in in his last 73 AHL games for the game-winner.
Between the pipes, Dell got the win, saving 29-of-33 shots in the process. For Texas, Wells turned away 8-of-11 in the start, however Poirier saw his record move to 5-3-2 with the OT loss in relief despite stopping 18-of-20.
Texas closed out their six-game, eleven-day road trip managing to come away with five points having gone 2-3-1 on their West Coast stint. With the overtime loss, the Stars (32-17-8-3, 75 pts.) saw their overtime record fall to 3-8 but still sit atop of the Central Division with a two-point edge over the Milwaukee Admirals (34-20-3-2, 73 pts.)
Texas heads home where they will play ten of their final twelve games of the regular season at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park with the first of six-straight in the friendly confines, beginning with a two-game series against the Coachella Valley Firebirds starting Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. CST.
Wells* (21:13) Poirier (40:30)
Injuries, scratches and notes
Laaksonen, Stranges (scratch)
Karlstrom (day-to-day, lower body injury)
Rosburg (likely out for season - upper-body injury)
Tonight's attendance was 2,209
1. SJ - P. Sieloff
2. SJ - J. Peterson
3. SJ - K. Criscuolo