Jan. 22, 2017
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Gulls (18-12-2-1; 39 points, .591 win %) begin a season-long five-game road trip today vs. the Ontario Reign (20-9-6-0; 46 points, .657 win %) at Citizens Business Bank Arena (3:00 p.m., 1700-AM). The Gulls have won five consecutive games, the second longest current win streak in the AHL behind only Utica (six straight wins) and the second-longest winning streak by the Gulls this season (previous: franchise record eight games from Nov. 11-Dec. 2).
During the current win streak, San Diego has outscored opponents 19-9 and has killed 12 of the last 13 penalties, including the last nine straight. San Diego has also won six of the last seven (7-1), and have earned standings points in nine of the past 10 games (7-1-1-1) and 18 of the last 25 overall (16-7-1-1). San Diego has also won four consecutive road contests dating back to Dec. 29 at Texas in addition to posting a 5-1 record in January.
The Gulls and Reign face off for the fifth of 12 Rivalry Nights this season, with the Gulls having a 1-2-1 record to date. Ontario took the most recent meeting at Valley View Casino Center on Dec. 27 in a 2-1 overtime win after Vincent LoVerde tallied a power-play goal 40 seconds into the extra frame. San Diego won the only previous matchup at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Nov. 27 by a 4-3 score line. Ontario won the first matchup of the season at Valley View Casino Center on Oct. 15 with a 2-0 shutout victory in addition to a 3-2 win in San Diego on Dec. 13. The Gulls are 9-6-1 all-time vs. the Reign, including 5-2-0 on the road.
With Rivalry Night comes a prominent talking point within the team, a high-energy and physical contest, much like the previous four games this season. Three of the four games to date have been one-goal games, with a physical, defensive tone.
“We obviously know they’re a good team. They’re big and physical and have won a lot of hockey games this year,” said defenseman Andy Welinski. “We definitely want to keep our energy high and come out with the right mindset. It’s going to be a hard game.”
“A lot of guys like the earlier games, to not have to wait around duringthe day. Hopefully we can carry over the good things on the ice. It’ll be a high-energy game for sure.
Gulls All-Star defenseman Brandon Montour leads all Gulls skaters with 2-7=9 points in 16 career games vs. Ontario, while left wing Antoine Laganiere’s three goals (3-0=3) lead the club.
San Diego won their fifth consecutive game Friday night with a 5-1 victory over the San Jose Barracuda in front of a sellout crowd (12,920) at Valley View Casino, the second sellout in club history (also inaugural game on Oct. 10, 2015 (also 12,920).
Montour, along with rookie center Kalle Kossila are both currently riding career-best point streaks entering tonight’s game. Kossila’s career high point streak is at eight games (4-8=12 points), the longest point streak in franchise history after he surpassed Corey Tropp’s seven-game point streak (3-7=10) from Nov. 5-27. The streak also ranks as the second-longest current streak in the AHL, and tied for the fifth longest this season. Montour currently has a six-game point streak (6-5=11) matching his career long set last season, and also set a career long five-game goal scoring streak (6-4=10) from Dec. 26-Jan. 16.
Montour’s assist in Friday’s win kept his point streak alive, but his career-best goal-scoring streak ended at five games. The Brantford, Ontario native’s five-game goal streak (6-4=9) from Dec. 26-Jan. 16 is now tied for the fourth longest such streak in the AHL and the longest by a defenseman this season.
The Reign enter Sunday’s matinee game on a back-to-back having defeated San Jose 7-2 Saturday evening. Ontario sit atop the Pacific Division and have a 6-3-1-0 record their past 10 g7-2ames. The Reign are