Dec. 6, 2016
SAN DIEGO– The San Diego Gulls (10-6-0-1; 21 pts.) look to extend their five-game home winning streak tonight as they host the Bakersfield Condors (8-8-1-0; 17 pts.) at Valley View Casino Center (7:00 p.m., 1700-AM ESPN). The Gulls look to get back to winning ways after their franchise record eight-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday night in a 4-0 loss to the Stockton Heat.
The Gulls’ eight-game win streak matched the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the longest win streak and unbeaten run in the AHL this season after winning eight consecutive games from Nov. 11-Dec. 2. The win streak marked San Diego’s second-longest unbeaten run in franchise history after going 9-0-2 during an 11-game unbeaten streak from Feb. 19-Mar. 16, 2016.
Gulls goaltender Dustin Tokarski’s (8-3-0-0) streak of six consecutive wins ended in the loss at Stockton, with the streak beginning on Nov. 11. In his last seven games, Tokarski is 6-1-0 with a .919 save percentage (SV%) and 2.36 goals-against average (GAA). The netminder also has won all five home starts at Valley View Casino Center this season, stopping 135 of 147 shots faced (2.40 GAA and .906 SV%).
The Gulls have been hot at home lately, winning their last five games at Valley View Casino and boast an 8-5-0 record against the Pacific Division. A win tonight would give Gulls Head Coach Dallas Eakins his 50th win behind the bench with San Diego.
The Gulls are 7-6-0-0 all-time vs. the Condors and 4-2-0-0 at Valley View Casino Center. In the first meeting of the season between these two teams, a tightly-contested game saw the Gulls earn a 3-2 overtime victory. Corey Tropp potted the game-winning goal on the power-play off a great cross-crease feed from Kalle Kossila. Both players acknowledged that nothing comes easy against the Condors.
“We were able to pull one out last week in their barn, but that was a game that could have easily gone either way,” said Tropp. “We need to be ready to go tomorrow against those guys if we are going to have success.”
The 23-year-old Kossila leads all Gulls skaters with a plus-nine rating and his 4-7=11 points rank tied for third on the team.
“The last game was so tight. So we probably will go toe-to-toe with them again,” said Kossila. “We just have to keep our momentum going by cleaning up our errors from last game and we will be fine.”
The Condors come into town off back-to-back wins against the Charlotte Checkers and Tucson Roadrunners this past weekend. Bakersfield is led by winger Taylor Beck whose 7-17=24 points are tied for third among all AHL skaters and lead all Condors. Goaltender Laurent Brossoit (5-6-0) ranks fourth among all AHL goaltenders in save percentage (.932) and sixth in goals-against average (2.10).
The Gulls penalty-kill has been instrumental in their recent success killing off 29 of the last 32 opposition power plays (90.6%). San Diego is also 6-1-1 when scoring the the game’s first goal and holds a 9-1-1 record when allowing three goals or less in a contest.
Tonight’s contest marks the first Taco Tuesday of the season. All fans in attendance can purchase two tacos for $5. Tickets can be purchased by visiting AXS.com/Gulls or by phone at (619) 359-4730.