Melnichuk Makes 34 Saves in San Jose’s 4-1 Win over Eagles

Melnichuk Makes 34 Saves in San Jose’s 4-1 Win over Eagles

Dec 21, 2021

LOVELAND, CO. – San Jose goaltender Alexei Melnichuk turned aside 34 of the 35 shots he faced, as the Barracuda defeated the Colorado Eagles, 4-1 on Friday. Barracuda forward Jeffrey Viel notched two goals in the victory, while Jaycob Megna and Adam Raska each finished with a pair of assists. Eagles forward Martin Kaut scored the team’s lone goal with a power-play tally midway through the first period. 


San Jose would jump on top early when Viel tipped a shot at the side of the crease, sending the puck into the back of the net. The goal came just 33 seconds into the contest and gave the Barracuda an early 1-0 edge.

A Colorado power play later in the first period would even things up, as Kaut buried a wrister from the right-wing circle to tie the game at 1-1 at the 10:54 mark of the opening frame.

San Jose would strike back just as their ensuing power play expired, as forward Sasha Chemelvski smashed a rebound in the slot past Eagles goalie Justus Annunen to put the Barracuda back on top, 2-1 with 3:33 remaining in the first period.

Still trailing 2-1 as the two teams hit the ice for the second period of play, Colorado would see the deficit grow bigger when San Jose capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play, as forward Jayden Halbgewachs tipped a puck into the back of the net from the low slot. The goal was Halbgewachs’ eighth of the season and stretched the Barracuda’s lead to 3-1 at the 5:15 mark of the middle frame.

Colorado would be forced to kill a total of five San Jose power plays in the second period, including a pair of 5-on-3 advantages, but the Eagles would hold strong, and the Barracuda would head to the second intermission still enjoying a 3-1 advantage.

Needing a response, Colorado would earn a pair of power plays early in the third period, but Melnichuk and the penalty kill would not relent, shutting down both opportunities. The Eagles would eventually pull Annunen in favor of the extra attacker in the final 90 seconds of the contest, but it would be Viel who would take advantage with an empty-netter with 1:06 left to play in the game to make it 4-1.

Colorado outshot San Jose 35-26, as the Eagles finished 1-for-5 on the power play and 7-for-8 on the penalty kill. Annunen suffered the loss in net, allowing three goals on 25 shots.

The Eagles will be back in action when they to take on the San Jose Barracuda on Wednesday, December 22nd at 7:05 pm MT at the Budweiser Events Center. Tickets for all regular-season games are on sale now and start at just $19. You can find more information on ticket packages, theme tickets, and promotional nights, by visiting or by calling the ticket department at (970) 686-7468.

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