The San Jose Barracuda (22-26-1-4) scored three times in the second period on their way to a 4-2 win over the Ontario Reign (30-20-3-1) on Friday night at Tech CU Arena. Both of Ontario’s goals came from Tyler Madden, who scored at even strength in the second and on the power play in the third.
Lias Andersson also picked up assists on each of Madden’s goals adding to his career-high point total which now stands at 44 for the season. Matt Villalta got the start in net and made 18 saves during a losing effort for the Reign, who held a 27-22 shots-on-goal advantage in the contest.
More from head coach Marco Sturm and Madden below.
While neither team was able to score in the first, both clubs hit the iron in the final minutes of the period. Alan Quine had the best look at the net for Ontario, but his rebound attempt glanced off both posts and stayed in front of the goal line. Then moments later, Tristen Robins got himself open in front of Villalta but his shot hit the crossbar and stayed out.
Early in the second Andre Lee drew a hooking penalty on San Jose’s Patrick Sieloff while driving to the net, but the man-advantage didn’t go as planned for the Reign. San Jose’s Luke Johnson found himself open in the slot and beat Villalta with a shorthanded wrist shot at 2:32 to make it 1-0 for the Barracuda.
The home team then increased their lead to 2-0 at 7:12 of the second when Danil Gushchin one-timed a pass by Derrick Pouliot into the net.
Madden cut the SJ lead in half to 2-1 with a redirect in front of the net off a centering pass by TJ Tynan at 11:20 of the second. Lias Andersson got credit for the second assist on the play, his first of two helpers in the game.
But 2:12 later during a delayed penalty to Ontario, the Barracuda crashed the net and finished the play to go up 3-1. Andrew Agozzino was credited with the goal.
Agozzino added another goal at 4:39 of the third, scoring San Jose’s second shorthanded tally of the night to make it a 4-1 game.
The Reign cut into the lead at 8:40 of the final period, scoring just 5 seconds into a 5-on-3 power play when Madden deflected home a rebound off an initial shot by Martin Chromiak.
But Ontario was unable to get any closer, despite putting the last seven straight shots on the Cuda net in the final minutes. Aaron Dell earned the win in goal for San Jose by stopping 25 Ontario opportunities in the game. The Reign finished 1-for-6 on the man-advantage while holding the Barracuda to an 0-for-2 mark on their power play.
On the frustration of his team’s slow start
For some reason we have a tough time here in this building. We knew it was going to be a close game anyway and we wanted to have more shots on net and have a good start and both didn’t happen. It’s frustrating because you cannot throw 40 minutes away and if you do that, you can’t really win a hockey game.
On the team’s penalty killing success
We stick with the plan. We have a really good structure, guys are willing to block shots and we were trying to be more aggressive too. But our best killer is our goalie too, so it’s a little bit of a combination of everything and we were not happy at one point but for a long time now the penalty kill has been really good.
On getting off to a better start Saturday in Bakersfield
It’s another tough building and again, we’ve got to make sure we’re ready to go and it’s going to take everyone, especially on back-to-back games. Guys are going to feel a little bit tired, it’s going to be another bus ride, but hopefully tomorrow we’re going to have a couple new guys in the lineup and they’re going to give us a little bit of energy but overall we just can’t throw points away, periods away, just because we’re not ready and that’s the most disappointing part of it. If you don’t get that, it’s going to be hard in this league or any league.
On the team having a lot of chances but only scoring twice
We just had our times. For like five minutes we were great, and then we’d have a little hiccup here or there, and we gave them a lot of chances and we didn’t capitalize on all of ours so it was a tough loss for sure.
On how they can eliminate shorthanded goals in the future
That just can’t happen. Especially two in one game. One is bad enough, but with two, you’re putting your whole team in a hole and we’ve got to fix that. We’ve got to be more accountable. Even though we’re up a guy we’ve still got to battle, pretend like it’s 5-on-5. Going forward, we’ve got to see what we did wrong in the video and figure it out from there.
On the pass TJ Tynan made on his first goal
Yeah, I mean as soon as he got that puck I knew it was coming to be back door, it was just a matter of me being able to get it up on my backhand and chip it in. Him and Lias made a great play there and that’s why I was able to score.
The Reign continue their weekend road trip with a matchup in Bakersfield against the Condors on Saturday night at Mechanics Bank Arena beginning at 7 p.m.