Reto Berra stopped each of the final 33 shots he faced, shutting out the San Jose Barracuda after Jacob Middleton’s goal 24 seconds into the game in the San Diego Gulls 4-1 victory Sunday in San Jose.
Nic Kerdiles and Kalle Kossila both had a goal and an assist in the first period as the Gulls extended their winning streak to a season-high six games.
The Gulls killed all six of San Jose’s power-play opportunities. The Gulls have killed 21 consecutive power-play opportunities and 31 of their last 32 in the past nine games.
“I can tell we are confident on our penalty killing,” Berra said. “You need some luck too, the puck is bouncing for us right now. To get luck you need to learn hard and that is what we are doing. We work hard and we don’t make it easy for the other team.”
“Berra was excellent, our penalty kill was excellent and that kept it close when we needed it to be,” Eakins said.
The Gulls killed three Barracuda power-play opportunities in the opening 9:48 including two-man advantages lasting nine seconds and 1:47.
Kerdiles tied the score 16:15 into the first period when he deflected a shot by Andy Welinski past Antoine Bibeau for his ninth goal of the season. Kossila was also credited with an assist.
The Gulls (26-17-1-0) took the lead for good on Kossila’s goal with 8.5 seconds left in the first period, off assists by Kerdiles and Keaton Thompson before a crowd at SAP Center in San Jose announced at 3,863.
Both Gulls goal scorers in the second period also scored in Saturday’s 3-2 victory.
Dennis Rasmussen scored his fourth goal of the season at 6:42 off assists by Steve Oleksy and Thompson. Eric Fehr scored his team-leading 15th goal of the season at 17:33 off assists by Kevin Roy and Oleksy.
“We scored some nice goals,” Gulls coach Dallas Eakins said. “The importance of being ready to score and a perfect example of that is when Fehr scored and Kevin Roy makes an unbelievable play to the back door.
“A lot of players wouldn’t be ready for that, but with Fehr’s experience, that NHL experience certainly that was a great lesson for our other forwards to always be ready. You never know when that pucks is coming to you.”
San Jose led 34-28 in shots, including a 16-12 advantage in the first period.
Berra (11-6-0-0) won for the sixth time in his past eight games for the Gulls. The game was his first for the Gulls since Jan. 26. He was recalled by their NHL parent team, the Anaheim Ducks, Jan. 31, allowed two goals and made 20 saves in 49:57 of relief of Ryan Miller in a 5-2 loss at Montreal Feb. 3, and was returned on loan from Anaheim Saturday.
The Gulls league-leading power-play was scoreless in its four opportunities and has failed to score on nine consecutive power plays over three games.
Bibeau (14-9-1-1) made 24 saves for the Barracuda (21-20-1-3), the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate.
— City News Service