March 10, 2017
The Gulls (34-13-3-2. 71 pts.) conclude a brief two-game homestand as they host the Tucson Roadrunners (23-22-6-0, 52 pts.) tonight at Valley View Casino Center (7:00 p.m., 1700-AM) in the 10th of 12 meetings this season. Tonight the Gulls will be hosting Mighty Ducks Night to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Mighty Ducks film. Doors will open early (5:00 p.m.) where the film will be played on the jumbotron.
The Gulls enter tonight’s game with points in six consecutive games (5-0-1), wins in 15 of their last 18 contests (15-2-1) and 22 of the last 27 overall (22-3-1-1). San Diego has also earned standings points in 22 of the last 24 games (20-2-1-1) where the club has outscored opponents 89-46, as well as points in 26 of 29 contests since Christmas (22-3-2-2).
The Gulls have also won four consecutive and 10 of the last 11 home games, and earned standings points in 12 of their last 14 contests at Valley View Casino Center dating back to Dec. 26 (10-2-1-1). The Gulls also have the second-best win percentage (.683) in the Western Conference and third-best in the AHL, while the club has allowed the second-fewest goals in the league (137) behind San Jose’s 134. San Diego’s remaining 16 contests this season will come against Pacific Division opponents where the Gulls have posted a 27-13-2-2 record in the division.
San Diego returns to the ice after an unbelievable 7-6 overtime win against the San Jose Barracuda on Wednesday night where the 13 combined goals between the two clubs marked the most scored in a game in club-history (previous: 12, twice; Oct. 26, 2016 vs. STK and Mar. 18, 2016 @ BAK).
“It was definitely a good learning experience [for the team],” said Gulls center Sam Carrick. “All these games leading up to the playoffs are ones that we can learn from and when the games really count in the playoffs, then that’s when we can rely on what we’ve learned throughout the year.”
Since being acquired by Anaheim from the Chicago Blackhawks on Mar. 1, Sam Carrick has tallied four points (2G/2A) in his three games with San Diego. The 6-0, 207-pound center currently has a six-game point streak (2-5=7) dating back to Feb. 25 (began while with Rockford).
“For the team all year, I’m just here to just try to add to it,” Carrick added. “We’re a good puck-moving team, and if we can just continue to do that and play fast I think we’ll be alright.”
Right wing Corey Tropp continues to lead the Gulls in points (47) and assists (30), and ranks tied for second on the club in goals (17) and is second in power-play goals (8). Tropp currently has a four-game goal streak (3-4=7), the longest of his career, and a six-game point streak (5-6=11) which is one game shy of matching a career-high seven-game point streak set this season from Nov. 5-27 (3-7=10). Tropp has tallied 9-12=21 points over his last 16 games and earned 26 points in the last 23 games overall (11-15=26).
Defenseman Shea Theodore, who has spent half the season with the Anaheim Ducks, has earned 12 points (3G/9A) in his last 11 games and 3-11=14 points in his last 13 games with the Gulls. Since re-joining San Diego from Anaheim on Feb. 17, Theodore has compiled 2-6=8 points with a +5 rating in six games, including three multi-point contests.
The Gulls and Roadrunners face off for the 10th of 12 meetings this season and the sixth and final meeting at Valley View Casino Center. San Diego has earned points in eight of nine previous matchups this season (7-1-0-1), including a 3-1-0-1 mark at home. Most recently, The Gulls swept a home-and-home matchup over the Roadrunners with a 5-3 win in Tucson on Feb. 28 and a 4-1 victory on Mar. 3 at Valley View Casino Center. San Diego dropped their only regulation contest to Tucson on Feb. 18 by a 5-2 score where the Roadrunners scored five unanswered goals. In the other three meetings in San Diego, the Gulls earned a 5-3 win Oct. 14, a 5-1 win Nov. 30 and fell 5-4 in a shootout loss Dec. 26. Antoine Laganiere co-leads the team in goals (6) and points (11) with Corey Tropp (6-5=11) vs. the Roadrunners. In four starts vs. Tucson this season, Dustin Tokarski has posted a 3-0-1 record.
Tucson sits outside the playoff picture in the Western Conference trailing Bakersfield by four points for the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division. The Roadrunners have posted a 3-9-1 record in their last 13 games and have not played since a 2-1 win over at the Ontario Reign on Mar. 4. Tucson is led offensively by former Gull Chris Mueller who has scored 11 goals and added 36 assists, good for 47 points this season. In the season series, Mueller has tallied points in six of the nine games (4G/6A). Rookie right wing Christian Fischer has had a stellar campaign to date, posting 19 goals and 21 assists (40 points) to lead club rookies and ranks tied for second in goals and tied for fourth among league newcomers in points.