Nikita Jevpalovs netted a pair of goals in the win
San Jose, CA – The San Jose Barracuda (29-11-1-3) fended off a Stockton Heat (19-20-1-4) comeback to earn their tenth win in a row, 5-4, on Friday night at Stockton Arena. The defeat was Stockton’s ninth-straight and San Jose’s seventh-straight road victory.
Nikita Jevpalovs (9) opened up the scoring at 3:59 of the first as Danny O’Regan ripped a shot from along the goal line and Jevpalovs redirected the puck short side past Jon Gillies. Patrick McNally (3) extended San Jose’s lead on the power play as the former Harvard blueliner fired the puck top-shelf far side from the high-slot at 11:26. With a minute and 39 seconds left in the first, Jevpalovs (10) potted his second of the game with a toe-drag missile on a two-on-one.
In the second, Rasmus Andersson’s (3) seeing-eye wrist shot from the right point made it 3-1 at 1:32 and one minute and 40 seconds later Mark Jankowski (16) cut the lead to 3-2 as he beat Mantas Armalis through the five-hole streaking down the left wing. After a Zach Stortini’s open-ice hit on Andersson led to a scrap between Stortini and Ryan Lomberg, San Jose’s Timo Meier (10) poked a loose puck past Gillies on the power play at 7:32 to make it 4-2. 36 seconds later, Matt Frattin (12) jammed a loose puck in at 8:52 on the man advantage from atop the crease and Hunter Shinkaruk (8) wrapped around the equalizer through Armalis’s five-hole at 10:44. With 22 seconds left in the period, Joakim Ryan (7) regained San Jose’s lead with a blast from the point that snuck through traffic and past Gillies.
In the third, San Jose twice broke free for breakaways, but Gillies stood tall. On the other end, Armalis made nine saves including several saves on high-end chances, and San Jose held on for the 5-4 win.
Armalis (12-3-2) earned his second win in a row by making 26 saves, while Gillies (11-12-1) suffered the loss after allowing five goals on 26 shots.
1. Nikita Jevpalovs (SJ: 2+0=2)
2. Mark Jankowski (STK: 1+1=2)
3. Hunter Shinkaruk (STK: 1+1=2)