SAN JOSE, Ca. – In comedy, they say you should start with silver and end with gold. In other words, always begin a show with your second-best joke and end with your very best.
Jonny Brodzinski proved this adage works just as well in hockey as he scored just 29 seconds into the contest and finished with the game-winner in overtime as the San Jose Barracuda defeated the Iowa Wild, 2-1. Josef Korenar stopped 42 shots for the victory, outdueling Wild netminder Kaapo Kahkonen who stopped 25 shots.
Brodzinski got things rolling within the first minute of the contest. Maxim Letunov took the puck through the neutral zone and into the Wild end. He moved in on Kahkonen, firing a wrist shot that the Iowa goalie kicked away. However, the rebound came right to Brodzinski, who knocked it in for his ninth goal of the year.
Despite giving up the early goal, the Wild were not stunned in any way. They dominated much of the first period, outshooting San Jose 15-12, but Korenar was the difference. He made several big saves, including two on Dmitry Sokolov, with a little less than five minutes left in the frame. At 15:19, Sokolov fired a wrist shot near the right faceoff circle that Korenar kicked aside. The puck found its way back to the point where Josh Atkinson fired a shot that Sokolov deflected toward the corner of the net, but the Barracuda’s netminder knocked that away as well.
The Barracuda held the one-goal lead into the second but, just before the midway point, Sam Anas tied the score. With Iowa on the power play, the Barracuda had the puck in their end. Connor Dewar was relentlessly hounding the San Jose defender, forcing a turnover. He fed the puck to Anas, who fired a wrist shot that beat Korenar over the shoulder for his 19th goal of the year.
The assist gave Dewar points in five straight games. Anas’ tally increased his point total to 64, tops in the AHL.
San Jose nearly retook the lead seconds later. The Barracuda had the puck deep in the Iowa end. The pass came across the crease to Nikolai Knyzhov, who was all alone on the other side of the net. He looked like he had a sure goal, but Kahkonen was able to slide across the crease and knock away the attempt with his blocker.
Neither team could find the back of the net during the third period, forcing overtime. Just after the two-minute mark, it looked like Dewar had won it for Iowa. He fired a shot that beat Korenar, but the puck off the crossbar and out.
With 1:40 left, Nick DeSimone fed the puck to Brodzinski along the boards in the Wild end. He moved across the slot, then posted up just inside the right faceoff circle before firing a wrist shot that beat Kahkonen over the shoulder for his second goal of the contest. That gave San Jose a 2-1 victory. It was the first two-goal game for Brodzinski in nearly two years.
Despite taking the loss, the Iowa Wild earned a point, moving them just five points behind the Milwaukee Admirals for the top spot in the Central Division.
These two teams will square off again on Wednesday night. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 9:00 pm CT.
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