The Ontario Reign (5-1-2-0) erased two deficits, but could not power past the San Jose Barracuda (3-3-0-1), falling 4-2 at SAP Center Sunday afternoon.
The loss snaps a season-opening seven-game unbeaten streak for the Reign.
For the Barracuda, it was the first home win in San Jose's brief history in the AHL.
Barracuda forward John McCarthy opened the scoring early in the first period smacking a rolling puck over the glove of Reign goaltender Peter Budaj (25 saves) from the top of the goal crease, but the Reign responded at the midway point as forward Michael Mersch grabbed his team-leading fifth goal of the season on the power play at 10:33. Forwards Sean Backman and Valentin Zykov zipped the puck around and found Mersch off the right post of Barracuda netminder Aaron Dell (32 saves).
The two sides traded markers 49 seconds apart in the second period to take a 2-2 contest into the intermission. Barracuda defenseman Mirco Muller rifled in his first goal of the year on the man advantage through a screen in front of Budaj at 14:06. Off the ensuing faceoff, forward Justin Auger swung the puck to the left post of Dell who generated a rebound for forward Ryan Horvat to lift over the left shoulder.
In the third period, the Barracuda pulled ahead for good as forward Jeremy Langlois buried the game-winning marker at 16:15 with a wrap-around goal on Budaj. Barracuda forward Nikolay Goldobin sealed the victory with an empty-net goal at 19:01.
The Reign finished the contest 1-for-3 on the power play while the Barracuda went 1-for-5.