March 12, 2017
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Diego Gulls visit the San Jose Barracuda for a matinee contest at SAP Center (1:15 p.m. PT, 1090-AM) ninth of 10 meetings this season. The Gulls enter tonight with points in seven consecutive games (6-0-1), wins in 16 of their last 19 contests (16-2-1) and 23 of the last 28 overall (23-3-1-1). San Diego has earned standings points in 23 of the last 25 games (21-2-1-1) where the club has outscored opponents 91-47, and has also earned points in 27 of 30 contests since Christmas (23-3-2-2).
On the road, the Gulls have won eight of the past 10 games (8-1-1) and earned standings points in 14 of the last 15 road contests (13-1-0-1) dating back to Dec. 29. San Diego leads the AHL in road win percentage (.660; 15-7-2-1) and has allowed the fewest goals in the AHL away from home (64). On the opposite end of the ice, San Jose has the best home winning percentage in the AHL (.788; 19-4-1-2) this season and leads the entire AHL with a .717 win percentage. The Gulls have the second-best win percentage (.689) in the Western Conference and third-best in the AHL, while the club has allowed the second-fewest goals in the league (138) behind only the Barracuda. San Diego’s remaining 15 contests this season (six home, nine away) will come against Pacific Division opponents where the Gulls have posted a 28-13-2-2 record in the division. Following tonight’s game, the Gulls will return to San Diego to face the Stockton Heat on Wednesday, Mar. 15 (7:00 p.m.).
San Diego and San Jose will face off for the ninth time this season, the third time in the past week and the second consecutive Sunday contest at SAP Center. Each club has maintained home ice advantage through eight games this season with San Jose winning each of its four home contests, as well as San Diego winning its four. The Gulls are 12-5-2-1 all-time vs. the Barracuda, including a 5-4-1 in San Jose.
The most recent matchup between the clubs saw Tyler Morley score the game-winning goal with 9.4 seconds remaining in overtime to lead San Diego to a 7-6 win over San Jose Wednesday at Valley View Casino Center. The Gulls scored five goals in the first 16:54 of the first period, the earliest five goals in club history and the most first period goals in history. The 13 combined goals were the most scored in a Gulls game in franchise history. This season, San Diego is 0-3-1 at San Jose this season, having lost the first three road matchups by a combined 8-1 score, and dropping a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime contests last Sunday and surrendering a late two-goal lead where San Jose scored twice in the final 2:51 with an extra attacker. Shea Theodore paces active Gulls skaters with 2-14=16 points in 13 career games vs. San Jose, while Antoine Laganiere leads the club in goals (6-3=9) in 18 contests.
Both clubs have relied on stellar defensive play and goaltending to lead the Western Conference in win percentage and fewest goals allowed. San Diego netminders have allowed two goals or fewer in 16 of the past 21 games (41 goals, 1.95 GAA). Veteran Jhonas Enroth, who was reassigned by the Anaheim Ducks to San Diego on Friday, has posted a 10-2-0 record with a 1.42 GAA, .944 SV% and two shutouts in 12 appearances with San Diego. Rookie goaltender Kevin Boyles has posted a 9-1-3 record in his last 13 AHL games with a 2.01 GAA, a .934 SV% and one shutout.
Corey Tropp and Sam Carrick have consistently collected points of late, with each currently riding a seven-game point streak. Tropp also has a five-game goal streak (3-4=7), the longest of his career and the longest active goal scoring streak in the AHL. His current seven-game point streak (5-6=11) dating back to Feb. 24, matched a career-high seven-game point streak he set earlier this season from Nov. 5-27 (3-7=10). On the season, Tropp leads the Gulls in points (48), co-leads in assists (30) and PPG (9), and ranks second on the club in goals (18). Tropp has tallied 10-12=22 points over his last 17 games and earned 27 points in the last 24 games overall (12-15=27).
Carrick has recorded 3-2=5 points in four games with San Diego since being acquired by Anaheim from the Chicago Blackhawks organization. Carrick’s current season-high seven-game point streak (3-5=7) is one shy of matching a career high of eight games set from Mar. 13, 2016-Apr. 13, 2016 (5-4=9). In 61 games between the Rockford IceHogs and San Diego Gulls, Carrick has posted 14-19=33 points.
In goal for the Barracuda, rookie Troy Grosenick (23-8-3) has been steady between the pipes leading the AHL in shutouts (8), second in in GAA (2.03), tied for second in SV% (.929) and fourth in wins.