March 18, 2017
The Gulls (36-15-3-2, 77 pts.) conclude their four-game season series with the San Antonio Rampage (24-32-5-1, 54 pts.) and the second game of a back-to-back matchup tonight at AT&T Center (5:00 p.m. PT, 1700-AM). San Diego will finish the 17th set of back-to-backs tonight, where the club is 20-11-2-1 overall and 9-7-1 in the second contest. San Diego’s remaining 12 contests this season (five home, seven road) will come against Pacific Division opponents where the Gulls have posted a 30-14-2-2 record in the division.The Gulls enter tonight 8-1-1 the last 10 games, in addition to wins in 18 of their last 22 contests (18-3-1). San Diego has also earned standings points in nine of the last 10 games (8-1-1), 13 of the last 16 (12-2-1) and 25 of the last 28 games (23-3-1-1).
On the road, the Gulls have won nine of the past 12 road games (9-2-1) and earned standings points in 15 of the last 17 contests (13-2-1-1) away from home dating back to Dec. 29. San Diego ranks second in the AHL in road win percentage (.648; 16-8-2-1) and has the fewest road goals against in the league (68). The Gulls have the second-best win percentage (.688) in the Western Conference and third-best in the AHL, while the club co-lead the AHL with fewest goals allowed in the league (144).
When the two clubs faced off last night, Kevin Roy scored the game-winning goal 16 seconds into overtime to propel the Gulls to a 2-1 victory while goaltender Dustin Tokarski (15-6-1) made 26 saves to improve to 6-0-1 his last seven decisions. Antoine Laganiere scored his 20th goal of the season, matching the club record for goals scored with Corey Tropp’s current 20 goals and former Gull Chris Mueller’s 20 from last season.
San Diego is 8-1-0 all-time vs. the Rampage, including 4-0-0 in San Antonio, with the Gulls outscoring the Colorado Avalanche affiliate 32-18 in the nine games overall. Prior to last night’s 2-1 OT win by the Gulls, the teams split a back-to-back matchup in San Diego on Jan. 6-7, with San Antonio taking the first contest by a 5-4 score line, and the Gulls prevailing, 3-2, in the second contest. Shea Theodore paces all active Gulls skaters with 3-4=7 points in five career contests while Corey Tropp leads San Diego forwards in points (2-4=6) and a team-best +10 rating.
Offensively, Tropp has been the driving force for San Diego, and the Michigan native has seven goals in his last eight games (7-4=11), points in nine of his last 10 games (8-6=14), and 12-13=25 points over his last 20 games. Tropp leads the Gulls in scoring (20-31=51), co-leads in goals (20) and power play goals (10), while he ranks second on the club in assists behind Kalle Kossila’s 31. Kossila usurped Tropp in assists last night with helpers on both goals to improve to 1-7=8 points his last nine games and 6-22=28 points his last 30. He ranks second on San Diego and tied for fourth among AHL rookies in scoring (11-32=43), while he’s tied for second among league newcomers in assists (32), and leads AHL rookies in plus/minus.
San Antonio enters tonight’s contest with wins in three of their last four games, but sit at the bottom of the Pacific Division and well out of the playoff picture. The Rampage are led offensively by Southern California native Rocco Grimaldi (25-20=45) who leads the club in goals, while the club also have a potent offensive threat in AHL All-Star A.J. Greer (15-22=37). Goaltender Spencer Martin has had the yeomen’s share of the work between the pipes this season, posting a 17-18-3 record with a 2.92 GAA and and .905 SV% in 39 appearances this season.