Dec. 27, 2016
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Gulls close out a season-long five game homestand tonight vs. the Ontario Reign at Valley View Casino Center (7 p.m., 1090-AM). The Gulls are 8-5-0-1 at home this season and have earn points in six of their last 10 games on home ice (6-3-0-1) in addition to picking up wins in nine of the last 16 games (9-6-0-1) overall.
The Gulls hold an 8-9-1-1 record in back-to-back games and are 3-6-1 in the second contest. Tonight marks the 11th of 12 December games for San Diego, which equals a season high for games in a single month (also 12 games in February and March). Tonight’s game will end a 15-game stretch vs. Pacific Division opponents dating back to Nov. 18 that has seen San Diego go 7-6-0-1 to date.
The Gulls and Reign face off for the fourth of 12 Rivalry Night this season, with Ontario holding a 2-1-0 record to date. Ontario took the most recent meeting at Valley View Casino Center on Dec. 13 by a 3-2 score, while San Diego won the only matchup at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Nov. 27 4-3. Ontario won the first matchup of the season at Valley View Casino Center on Oct. 15 with a 2-0 shutout victory. The Gulls are 9-6-0 all-time vs. the Reign, including 4-4-0 at home.
Ontario enters tonight having earned points in eight of their last 10 games (8-1-1) and are coming off a 4-3 in overtime win over the Bakersfield Condors in front of a sellout crowd at Citizens Business Bank Arena last night.
The Gulls fell 5-4 in a shootout loss to the Tucson Roadrunners last night when Chris Mueller scored the shootout-winner in the fourth round after he tied the game with under three minutes remaining to extend the game to the extra session. Brandon Montour (1-3=4) and Jaycob Megna (1-2=3) led the way for the Gulls with career nights. Montour tied a career high with his first four-point game (2-2=4) since Nov. 11, 2015 vs. Bakersfield. Megna’s three points tied a career-high previously set only two games prior on Dec. 16 vs. Stockton when he also registered 1-2=3 points.
Kevin Roy (1-0=1) scored his team-leading 10th of the season, while Ryan Garbutt scored his first goal as a Gull (shorthanded). Antoine Laganiere, Kalle Kossila and Corey Tropp all tallied assists for San Diego. Dustin Tokarski (9-6-0-1) stopped 23-of-27 shots, picking up the shootout loss.
Brandon Montour leads all Gulls skaters with 1-7=8 points in 15 career games vs. Ontario, while Corey Tropp co-leads the club with three goals (3-3=6) in six games along with Antoine Laganiere’s three goals (3-0=3). In 2015-16, the Gulls were the only team in the AHL to post a winning record against Ontario, going 8-4-0 versus the league’s top-ranked defense.
Following tonight’s game, the Gulls will close out the 2016 calendar year in Austin, Texas as they visit the Stars on Dec. 29 and 31.