Feb. 17, 2017
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The San Diego Gulls (27-13-2-2, 58 pts.) visit the Bakersfield Condors (19-19-5-1, 44 pts.) tonight at Rabobank Arena in the fifth meeting between the clubs this season. The Gulls have posted a 4-0-0 record to date over the Condors, including 2-0 at Rabobank Arena. San Diego is 10-6-0-0 all-time vs. the Condors, including 3-4-0-0 in Bakersfield.
The Gulls defeated the visiting Iowa Wild 4-1 on Tuesday night at Valley View Casino Center and have won nine of their last 10 contests (9-1-0) and 16 of the last 19 games (16-2-0-1). San Diego has earned standings points in 15 of the last 16 games (14-1-0-1) and 19 of 21 (16-2-1-2) contests since Christmas.
“We’re doing all the little things right now,” said defenseman Andy Welinski who recorded his third multi-point game of the season against Iowa. “We are sticking to the details and it has been paying off. At this stretch of the season we have to execute the little stuff to win games. If we can do that against Bakersfield we will be in good shape.”
San Diego has also won six of its last seven road games (6-1-0) and earned standings points in 11 of their last 12 road contests dating back to Dec. 29 at Texas (10-1-0-1). The Gulls enter tonight’s tilt with a 13-7-1-1 record away from home, with the 13 road victories this season rank first among all Pacific Division clubs.
Jaycob Megna leads all active Gulls defensemen in points with 4-15=19 on the season and 2-2=4 in his last five contests. The 24-year-old is a big part of San Diego’s leadership group and believes there are a few different factors behind the Gulls’ success on the road this season.
“We have one of the closest locker rooms in the league,” said Megna. “I think that camaraderie shows up on the road. We never think we are out of a game and we’ve shown that so many times on the road this season.”
The Gulls won the most recent meeting between the two clubs on Feb. 12 with a 4-0 shutout win behind Dustin Tokarski’s 22 saves at Valley View Casino Center. San Diego also took the other home matchup in 4-3 in overtime victory on Dec. 6. The Gulls defeated the Condors 4-2 in Bakersfield last week on Feb. 7 and won the first contest between the two clubs 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 26 at Rabobank Arena.
Left wing Antoine Laganiere leads all active Gulls skaters in goals and assists with 7-7=14 points in 13 career games vs. Bakersfield, and leads the Gulls with 15 goals and seven power-play goals this season. Laganiere is only one goal shy from matching his career high of 16 set last season. In his past 12 games Laganiere has totaled 9-2=11 points, including three multi-goal games. Laganiere also has 5-1=6 points his past six games.
The Gulls have quite a bit of depth in net with goaltender Dustin Tokarski posting a 3-0-0 record with a 1.88 GAA and .934 SV% in his three appearances against the Condors this season. Tokarski (10-6-1) has one shutout this season and posted a 3.09 GAA and .894 SV% to date this season. Jhonas Enroth has been steady in net in his 11 games with San Diego, allowing only 13 goals while winning 10 of his 11 starts (10-1-0) with a 1.18 GAA, a .954 SV% and two shutouts since being acquired from Toronto on Jan. 10. Overall, Enroth (12-2-0) leads all AHL goaltenders with a 1.57 GAA and ranks second with .941 SV% (minimum 14 games).
The Condors play for the first time since a 4-0 loss to the Gulls last Sunday and have posted a 1-2-2-0 record in their last five games. Bakersfield currently sit outside the Western Conference playoff picture in seventh place in the Pacific Division with 44 points with a .500 win percentage. The Condors are led by right wing Taylor Beck (13-33=46 points) who leads the AHL in points among active players and ranks third overall this season.