San Jose split the first two games of their opening round series following the Barracuda’s 3-2 win over Ontario last night.
The San Jose Barracuda hosted their first two playoff games in franchise history on Friday and Saturday night at SAP Center, and both contests were extremely tight.
With the Barracuda being heavy underdogs against the Pacific Division champion Ontario Reign, top affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose was able to earn a split after downing Ontario by a 3-2 final in Game 2 last night.
Head coach Roy Sommer would tab Aaron Dell as his starting netminder for this series, and he came up big last night, making 34 saves including this flurry in front of his own net.
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The Barracuda were able to strike first in the second when their leading point-getter in the regular season, Ryan Carpenter, tipped home a shot from the point past Ontario netminder Peter Budaj to give San Jose their first lead of the series.
Almost 10 minutes later, their captain Bryan Lerg would double the Barracuda advantage when he skated down the right wing and somehow snuck the puck underneath Budaj as San Jose held a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Kurtis MacDermid would score his second in as many nights for the Reign to cut the lead to one early in the third, but 2014 first-round pick Nikolay Goldobin scored the eventual game-winning goal on a beautiful give-and-go with Jeremy Langlois.
Ontario would score a late goal with 35 seconds remaining, but the Barracuda were able to hang on to send things back to Ontario knotted up at one.
In Game 1, it was a tight-checking affair with the top-seeded Reign able to take the upper-hand with a 2-1 victory as they scored the game-winning tally late in the third period.
Dell started between the pipes and was very solid in making 35 saves for the Barracuda, but the San Jose offense could only muster one goal past Budaj. The Reign grabbed a 1-0 lead midway through the second period, but Nikita Jevpalovs would tie the game at the 6:17 mark of the third with a beautiful toe-drag on a 2-on-1.
Unfortunately, with under five minutes remaining, Jonny Brodzinski would score the game-winning goal as the Reign would strike first in this series.
The series now shifts to Southern California for a pivotal Game 3 scheduled for Thursday, April 28th as each team looks to put the other on the brink of elimination in this best-of-five opening round series.