San Diego Gulls fall to San Jose in third period stunner

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Gulls allowed four third-period goals in a 5-3 loss to the San Jose Barracuda Sunday in San Jose, their sixth loss in eight games.

The loss was the Gulls second regulation loss in their three seasons in the American Hockey League when they led after two periods. The Gulls are 67-2- 2-0 when leading after two periods.

Adam Helewka scored the go-ahead goal with nine minutes, 22 seconds to play. Olivier Archambault added an insurance goal with 7:35 left before a crowd at the SAP Center at San Jose announced at 6,998.

Helewka also scored the tying goal with 15:40 remaining, his first goal since an empty net-goal in San Jose's 6-4 victory over the Stockton Heat in its season opener Oct. 7, 16 games ago.

The Gulls took a 3-1 lead on goals by rookies Julius Nattinen, Escondido native Austin Ortega and Giovanni Fiore in the opening 4:11 of the second period.

Ortega's goal was his second of the season and first since Oct. 13, the second game of the season.

The Barracuda (8-8-0-1) cut the deficit to 3-2 on Rudolfs Balcers' power-play goal with 16:03 remaining in the third period.

The Gulls (7-10-1-0) have allowed nine power-play goals in their past five games. They are last in penalty killing in the 30-team AHL at 74.7 percent. The Iowa Wild, the Minnesota Wild's AHL affiliate, lead the league with a 89.8 percentage.

The Gulls were scoreless in the first period for the eighth time in their past 10 games. San Jose left wing John McCarthy opened the scoring 11:55 into the first period when he put a shot from the slot above goaltender Reto Berra for his third goal of the season.

The Gulls were outshot, 39-22, including a 17-8 disadvantage in the third period. The Gulls have been outshot 13 of their past 15 games.

Antoine Bibeau (5-3-0-0) stopped 14 of 17 shots over the final two periods for the Barracuda, the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate. Troy Grosenick stopped all five shots he faced in the first period for San Jose.

Berra (1-2-0-0) made 34 saves for his second loss in two games since being reassigned to the Gulls by their NHL parent team, the Anaheim Ducks, on Friday.

The Gulls were scoreless on their two power-play opportunities. The Barracuda scored on one of their two.

The Gulls, last in the AHL's eight-team Pacific Division, will play the second game of a five-game road trip Friday at Ontario, the Los Angeles Kings AHL affiliate.