Andrew Agozzino scored one minute, 12 seconds into overtime as the San Diego Gulls avenged their first home loss of the season with a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Barracuda Saturday evening in Irvine.
Agozzino took possession of a loose puck at center ice and raced in on goal, eluded an attempted check by Fredrik Handemark and put a shot between San Jose goaltender Alexei Melnichuk’s legs for his fifth goal of the season and fourth in four games.
“We just tried to regroup because we were on a change there,” Agozzino said. (Andrew Poturalski) tried to make a play there and their D tried to step up and break it up. I was able to poke it by him and beat the guy to the net.
Poturalski was credited with his league-leading 10th assist on the goal.
Gulls goaltender Olle Eriksson Ek stopped 39 of 41 shots, including the only one he faced in overtime, in his American Hockey League debut.
“He looked great,” Agozzino said. “He definitely held us in there and made a couple of big saves. A real big save in overtime right off that first shot off his shoulder, so it was great to see him come in after not playing for a little while and have a great game.”
The 2017 fifth-round draft choice of the Anaheim Ducks, the Gulls’ NHL parent team, began the season with the Tulsa Oilers of the ECHL, where he had a 3-2-0-0 record, a 2.79 goals against average and .901 save percentage.
The Barracuda (4-3-2-0) retied the score at 5:40 of the second period on Zachary Gallant’s power-play goal on a shot from just outside the left faceoff circle. The goal was Gallant’s first in his five games in the AHL and came on his 22nd birthday.
There was no scoring in the third period, when the Gulls were outshot, 11-9.
The Gulls (9-5-0-0) opened the scoring 7:19 into the first period. Benoit-Olivier Groulx tipped the puck back to Hunter Drew who put a backhanded shot between Melnichuk’s legs for his first goal of the season.
San Jose tied the score 1:27 later on a shot by center Maxim Letunov from between the faceoff circles.
The Gulls regained the lead 1:51 into the second period. Maxim Golod skated around the net and passed to Groulx who was standing in front of the left goalpost and fired a shot into the net for his fourth goal of the season.
The Gulls were outshot, 41-26, including 16-5 in the first period.
The Gulls killed two of the three power-play opportunities by the Barracuda, the San Jose Sharks’ AHL affiliate. The Gulls failed to score on their lone power-play opportunity.
Melnichuk (1-3-2-0) made 23 saves.
The Gulls lost 5-1 to San Jose Friday night, their first loss at FivePoint Arena at Great Park Ice after winning each of their first seven games at their home for the 2020-21 season.
The two teams are scheduled to meet again Tuesday in San Jose.