Feb. 25, 2017
The Gulls (29-14-2-2; 62 pts., .660 win %) conclude a three-game homestand vs. the Rockford IceHogs (21-24-8-3; 53 pts., .473%) tonight at Valley View Casino Center (7 p.m., 1700-AM). The Gulls enter tonight with wins in 11 of their last 13 contests (11-2-0) and 18 of the last 22 overall (18-3-0-1) while also earning standings points in 17 of the last 19 games (15-2-0-1) where the club has outscored opponents 70-32. San Diego has also won seven of the last eight home games and earned standings points in nine of their last 11 contests at Valley View Casino Center dating back to Dec. 26 (7-2-1-1). San Diego currently has the third-best points percentage (.660) in the Western Conference and fourth-best in the AHL. Tonight also concludes San Diego’s 16th set of back-to-backs this season, posting a 18-11-2-1 record overall and 8-7-1 in the second contest.
San Diego hosts the Rockford IceHogs for the first time in club history at Valley View Casino Center and closes out the two-game season series. The teams previously met on Jan. 13 at Rockford where the Gulls prevailed with a 3-2 overtime victory when Brandon Montour scored two goals, including the OT winner 40 seconds into the extra frame. Nick Sorensen also netted a goal for the Gulls while Kevin Boyle stopped 32-of-34 shots in the win. All-time, the Gulls are 9-5-1 vs. Central Division opponents (2-2 vs. Charlotte, 1-1 vs. Grand Rapids, 2-0 vs. Iowa, 2-1-1 vs. Manitoba, 1-1 vs. Milwaukee, 1-0 vs. Rockford), including a 5-2-0 mark at home.
Last night, San Diego scored a season-high three power-play goals en route to a 6-2 win over the Texas Stars at Valley View Casino Center. Andy Welinski (0-3=3) recorded the first three-point game of his career, while Corey Tropp (1-1=2), Chris Wagner (2-0=2), Kevin Roy (1-1=2), and Antoine Laganiere (1-1=2) earned multi-point games for the Gulls. Nick Sorensen (1-0=1) rounded out the scoring and Scott Sabourin, Brian Cooper and Jaycob Megna also recorded assists.
Gulls goaltender Dustin Tokarski (12-6-1) won his third consecutive game last night, and has posted a 1.33 GAA, a .947 SV% and one shutout over the three games since his return from a lower-body injury that caused him to miss 17 games. In 11 home starts this season, the Watson, Sask. native has posted an 8-2-1 record.
Corey Tropp continues lead the Gulls in assists (26) and points (39), while the right wing has stayed hot recent tallying five goals and eight assists (13 points) over his last 11 games and earned 18 points in the last 18 games overall (7 goals, 11 assists). Antoine Laganiere leads the Gulls with 16 goals and eight PPG this season, and with last night’s goal, the left winger matched his career high of 16 set last season.
Rockford visits San Diego for the first time in their club’s AHL history, and enters tonight with consecutive wins in back-to-back contests vs. Manitoba to start their road trip in addition to a 7-1-2-0 record their past 10 games. Right wing Spencer Abbott leads the IceHogs with 12 goals and 19 assists (31 points) and center Mark McNeill ranks second on the club with 27 points. Goaltender Lars Johannson has posted an 11-11-4 record with a 2.66 GAA and .907 SV% to date in his 30 starts for the Chicago Blackhawks affiliate.