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Bonneau on Chmelevski Moving to Wing, Seeing “A Little” Pavelski in Reedy | SJHN+

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Credit: San Jose Barracuda

Joel Kellman earned his first career hat trick and Sasha Chmelevski added four points in the San Jose Barracuda’s 7-5 win over the Henderson Silver Knights Friday night.

With the Barracuda’s (15-11-4-2) leading scorers, Joachim Blichfeld and Alex True, up with the San Jose Sharks, Kellman (3 G, 2 A) and Chmelevski (2 G, 2 A) put up career-best performances against the division-leading Silver Knights (21-12-0-0).

The Barracuda jumped ahead to a 2-0 first period lead off of a pair of power play goals by Chmelevski. Chmelevski, who had his first career three-point game Tuesday, one-timed Kellman’s pass to open the scoring.

Five minutes later, Chmelevski poked in a loose puck for his eighth goal of the year. Kellman, who had two points Tuesday, and Robbie Russo earned assists on both power play goals.

Late in the first period, Henderson took advantage of a 20-second 5-on-3 power play, cutting the Barracuda lead to 2-1 off a goal by Danny O’Regan. The former San Jose Sharks prospect added another power play goal in the second period to tie the game at 2-2.

In the second period, Maxim Letunov settled a bouncing puck and quickly pulled the trigger for his 10th goal of the year. Jayden Halbgewachs earned the primary assist on the power play goal, extending his point streak to four consecutive games since returning from a hip injury.

In the opening minute of the third period, Brandon Coe snapped another power play goal, also his first professional goal, for the 4-2 lead. Brinson Pasichnuk and Ryan Merkley earned assists.

Henderson responded by scoring the first even strength of the goal of the game.

Halfway through the third period, Nicolas Meloche arced a stretch pass to Kellman, who scored on a five-hole shot. Chmelevski also earned an assist.

The Silver Knights added two goals to tie the game at 5-5 late in the third period, but the Barracuda capitalized on their final power play opportunity of the game.

Kellman scored the eventual game-winner on a wrist shot from the face off dot, completing the San Jose power play’s perfect 5-for-5 night. Kellman scored on the empty net for his hat trick.

Alexei Melnichuk (6-5-3) earned his third consecutive win, stopping 26 of 31 shots faced.

The Barracuda play the Silver Knights tomorrow at 5:15 p.m. at SAP Center.

A New Side of Sasha

In back-to-back multi-point games against the strongest teams in the Barracuda’s division, Chmelevski has looked dominant.

The Huntington Beach native had a lackluster NHL debut in February, only lasting two games with the San Jose Sharks before being sent back down. Chmelevski was streaky to start for the Barracuda with just three points in 12 March tilts, but he’s powered his way to 15 points in 13 games in April.

Assistant coach Jimmy Bonneau, who handles the Cuda’s forwards, said Chmelevski is finding his identity.

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