The San Jose Barracuda were the last team to clinch a berth in the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, and now they’re not going down without a fight.
Aaron Dell stopped 34 shots and Joakim Ryan assisted on all three Barracuda goals as San Jose defeated Ontario, 3-2, in Game 2 of their Pacific Division semifinal, which is now tied at one game apiece.
Game 3 of the best-of-five series is set for Thursday night in Ontario.
Bryan Lerg doubled the Barracuda lead at 13:37 of the frame, racing up the right wing and beating a defender before slipping the puck past Budaj to make it 2-0.
Ontario got on the board at the 2:40 mark of the third, as Kurtis MacDermid‘s long shot from the point found its way through traffic and in for his second goal of the series.
With Budaj off for an extra attacker, Jonny Brodzinski one-timed a shot past Dell with 34.8 seconds remaining to make it 3-2, but the Barracuda survived one final late flurry to preserve the victory despite being outshot 36-15 for the game.
Dell (1-1) made nine saves in the first period, 14 in the second and 11 more in the third for the win. In 10 appearances against the Reign this season, Dell has allowed 18 goals on 323 shots (.944).
Budaj (1-1) finished with 12 saves in the game for Ontario.
Pacific Division Semifinals – Series “G” (best-of-5)
P1-Ontario Reign vs. P4-San Jose Barracuda
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Ontario 2, SAN JOSE 1
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 23 – SAN JOSE 3, Ontario 2
Game 3 – Thu., Apr. 28 – San Jose at Ontario, 10:00
Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 29 – San Jose at Ontario, 10:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 1 – San Jose at Ontario, 6:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern
— AHL (@TheAHL) April 24, 2016