Reto Berra stopped all 46 shots he faced and the San Diego Gulls league-leading power-play scored on four of five opportunities in a 5-0 victory over the San Jose Barracuda Friday evening at Valley View Casino Center.
Berra (7-4-0-0) made 21 saves in the third period to complete the Gulls first shutout of the season and the seventh of his five-season North American professional career, including three with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.
The 46 saves were the most by any Gulls goaltender in their three seasons in the American Hockey League, topping the previous record of 41 by Leland Irving in a 1-0 loss to the Ontario Reign Nov. 3.
“Usually when you come back off a road trip you come back through time changes and they are usually sleepy games, and he was extremely focused,” Gulls coach Dallas Eakins said.
The victory was the Gulls eighth in 10 games and moved them past San Jose (15-13-0-2) into fifth in the AHL’s eight-team Pacific Division.
The Gulls (17-13-1-0) capitalized on their first two power-play opportunities, with Kalle Kossila scoring with one-tenth of a second left in the first period and Joe Blandisi 5:31 into the second.
The Gulls also scored on both their third-period power-play opportunities. Eric Fehr scored his team-leading 10th goal, including seven in his past nine games, 7:48 into the period off assists by Kossila and Marcus Pettersson. Sam Carrick scored 12:03 into the period off assists by Fehr and Dennis Rasmussen.
Jared Boll opened the scoring five minutes, 17 seconds into the first period with his first goal in his five games with the Gulls since being reassigned to them Dec. 11 by their NHL parent team, the Anaheim Ducks. Rasmussen and Fehr were credited with the assists before a crowd announced at 12,171.
The Gulls allowed a franchise-record 46 shots and were outshot, 46-26, including a 21-4 disadvantage in the third period. They had allowed 43 shots on five occasions for the previous record. Parker Gahagen (2-2-0-0) made 21 saves for the Barracuda, the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate.
The Gulls killed all six of San Jose’s power-play opportunities and have killed 16 consecutive power-play opportunities over their past four games.
The Gulls lead the league by scoring on 27.6 percent of their power plays. The Manitoba Moose, the Winnipeg Jets AHL affiliate, are second, scoring on 23.5 percent of their power plays.
Kossila’s two points gave him six in the past two games. He had a team- record four assists in Wednesday’s 4-3 victory over the Texas Stars, tying the team record for points in a game.
There were three fights. Boll and Barracuda left wing Emerson Clark drew five-minute major penalties and two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for their fight 5:58 into the second period, 27 seconds after Blandisi’s goal gave the Gulls a 3-0 lead. The fight was Boll’s first of the season.
Gulls right wing Corey Tropp and San Jose left wing Brandon Bollig fought at 15:23 of the second period. Tropp received a five-minute major and 10- minute misconduct, while Bollig received a five-minute major, 10-minute misconduct and two-minute minor for roughing.
Tropp received a game misconduct was he was involved in his second fight with 6:06 to play in the third period, along with a five-minute major and two-minute slashing penalty. Barracuda left wing Adam Helewka received a five- minute major for his role in the fight, Tropp’s fourth of the season and third in his past two games.
The Gulls will face San Jose again Saturday, seeking their eighth consecutive victory over the Barracuda at Valley View Casino Center.
— City News Service