Feb. 12, 2017
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Gulls (26-13-2-2, 56 pts.) shut out the Bakersfield Condors 4-0 (19-19-5-1, 44 pts.) for their fifth consecutive home win in front of 9,627 fans at Valley View Casino Center tonight. The Gulls have now earned standings points in in 14 of the last 15 games (13-1-0-1) and 18 of their past 20 (15-2-1-2) contests since Christmas.
San Diego goaltender Dustin Tokarski stopped all 22 shots in his first shutout of the season to improve to 10-6-1 this after making his first start in net since Dec. 26.
“He was great since he hasn’t played in a long time. He had to wait his turn to get back out on the ice,” said Head Coach Dallas Easkins, “He did that through supporting teammates and working extremely hard. I’m really proud of his performance, he really earned it.”
Nick Sorensen, Antoine Laganiere, Jordan Samuels-Thomas and Chris Wagner each tallied goals for San Diego, who climbed past rival Ontario for second place in in the Pacific Division while forwards Kalle Kossila and Nic Kerdiles both recorded multi-assist games to leads the Gulls offense tonight.
Sorensen opened the scoring halfway through the second period with his sixth goal of the season at 9:15 of the opening frame. The Gulls capitalized on their power-play opportunity and took the 1-0 lead after Sorensen buried a loose rebound from Kalle Kossila’s shot.
After controlling the majority of the second period, San Diego got into penalty trouble and went down two men when the Condors earned a 5-on-3 advantage for a full 1:29. San Diego killed both minor penalties and the strong penalty kill held true to preserve the 1-0 lead with 8:46 left in the second.
“The 5-on-3 kill gave us a lot of momentum,” said Dustin Tokarski, “That’s what good teams do. They find a way to get out of tough spots.”
With just under five minutes left in the second period, Bakersfield’s Bryce Aneloski was whistled for hooking to and Antoine Laganiere remained scorching hot as he buried his 15th goal of the season over Ellis’ glove to double the Gulls lead. Laganiere has now scored five goals in his last five games (5-1=6) and has 9-2=11 points his last 12 games.
The Gulls took their two-goal lead into the final period and added two insurance markers to secure their fifth straight win on home ice.
After a Condors turnover 1:30 into the third period, Scott Sabourin’s breakaway attempt was denied by Ellis but Jordan Samuels-Thomas was on the doorstep to bury the rebound for his ninth goal of the season. Samuels-Thomas has now scored goals in back-to-back games.
“We work on breakouts every day and that’s where our offense starts,” said Dallas Eakins. “I don’t think there are many teams that break out of their own zone better than we do. We really stress those plays to the net and we think the more shots we get the better chance we will have to score.”
Chris Wagner closed out the scoring when he found the back of the net after pressuring Ellis early in the final period. San Diego has won all four games against the Condors this season after securing the 4-0 win.
In the closing minutes of the game Tokarski made a series of big saves to secure the shutout and clinch his 10th win of the season.
“The shutout is just they cherry on top,” added Tokarski. “I wanted to come out and give the team a chance to win. We got the two points so I am happy with that.”
“We are working hard and winning. We have a bunch of young guys, some veterans and great coaches. It is all coming together nicely.”
NOTES: Nic Kerdiles recorded his first multi-point game with two assists…Kalle Kossila recorded his 10th multi-point game of the season with two assists…Kevin Roy, Scott Sabourin and Max Gortz also earned assists in the win…Bakersfield goaltender Nick Ellis stopped 41-of-45 shots and fell to 7-9-2 this season.
1. Dustin Tokarski (SD)
2. Kalle Kossila (SD)
3. Chris Wagner (SD)