Coachella Valley Comes Out on Top in Back-and-Forth Battle in San Jose
The Firebirds defeated the San Jose Barracuda by the score 5-4 on Saturday night at Tech CU Arena. Tye Kartye scored with 2:29 left in the third period to seal the Firebirds’ 36th victory of the season..
After surrendering the first goal in the last nine games, the Firebirds finally hit the back of the net before their opponent. Max McCormick made a slick pass on to the stick of Kole Lind, beating Strauss Mann for his 22nd of the season. Ryker Evans earned the secondary assist.
The Barracuda answered on the powerplay thanks to an Andrew Agozzino strike and took a 2-1 lead just 13 seconds later on an Ozzy Wiesblatt goal.
Coachella Valley pulled even on a powerplay goal from Jeremy McKenna, his first as a Firebird. Cameron Hughes and John Hayden earned the assists at 16:12 of period one. The Firebirds took their second lead of the game 58 seconds after a redirection from Alexander True. Ryker Evans let a shot a fly from the right circle that hit True in the back and bounced past Mann. Austin Poganski was awarded the secondary assist on True’s ninth of the season.
In the closing minutes of the second period, the Firebirds went to the powerplay. Barracuda forward Jeffrey Viel disrupted a cross-ice pass and was sprung on a break into the offensive zone. Viel beat Driedger to tie the game with 31 seconds left in the second period on the fifth shorthanded goal surrendered by Coachella Valley this season.
San Jose took their second lead of the game at the 3:29 mark of period three on a Martin Kaut tip-in. Artemi Kniazev let the shot fly before it hit Kaut’s stick for his eighth of the season to make it 4-3 Barracuda.
The Firebirds battled back to tie the game on a seeing eye shot by Jimmy Schuldt at 9:21 of the third period. Cameron Hughes and Ryker Evans once again earned the apples. In the closing minutes, Hughes drove the rush into the offensive zone and dropped a pass back to Tye Kartye. Kartye took a slapshot that beat Mann to give Coachella Valley a 5-4 lead with 2:29 to play. San Jose pulled their netminder but could not find the equalizer as Coachella Valley hung on to win.
Chris Driedger earned his second win of the season, making 37 saves in the victory moved Coachella Valley to 36-10-4-2. The Firebirds’ powerplay went 1-for-5 and the penalty kill finished 4-for-5.
Read the game’s full box score HERE.
NEXT GAME: The Firebirds return home to face the Henderson Silver Knights on Wednesday, March 8. Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm PT at Acrisure Arena.
Full Season, partial plans, and group tickets are also on sale for the Firebirds’ inaugural season. For more information and to purchase your ticket plan, please visit www.cvfirebirds.com or call 760-835-8778. View the team’s full game and promotional schedule, including theme night events at www.cvfirebirds.com/schedule.