Dec. 29, 2016
Austin, Texas – The San Diego Gulls (11-11-2-1, 25 pts.) close out the 2016 calendar year as they visit the Texas Stars (15-11-1-1, 32 pts.) tonight at Cedar Park Center (5:30 p.m., 1700-AM). The Gulls have played the fewest road games in the AHL this season, posting a 3-6-1 record away from home this season.
The Gulls face off against the Stars for the second time this season, with the Gulls winning the only previous matchup by a 5-3 score line on Oct. 22 at Valley View Casino Center. Texas owns the all-time series over San Diego with a 5-2 record, having won five of the six meetings during the 2015-16 season.
San Diego has earned points in 10 of the last 16 games (9-6-1-1) overall and 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 see the Gulls face a divisional opponent for the 16th consecutive game dating back to Nov. 18 that has seen San Diego go 7-6-1-1 to date.
Kevin Boyle is expected to get the start in net for the second consecutive game and has yet to win his first AHL contest in four starts (0-2=2) but the Manalapan, N.J., native has compiled a 2.69 GAA and .913 SV%.
Offensively, the Gulls are led by right wing Corey Tropp who co-leads the team with 6-15=21 points and paces all skaters in assists while rookie center Kevin Roy leads the club in goals with 10 in 25 games. Roy is ranked tied for fourth among all rookies in goals scored this season.
Missing his first contest in two seasons will be defenseman Brandon Montour who co-led the club in points with Corey Tropp prior to his first recall to the Anaheim Ducks yesterday. Montour could make his NHL debut tonight in Calgary.
Veteran center Travis Morin leads the Stars offense this season with 11-14=25 points and left wing Brandon DeFazio isn’t far behind Morin with 10-14=24 points of his own.
Tonight’s game marks the first contest in Texas since the Gulls eliminated the Stars three-games-to-one following San Diego’s first-ever appearance and postseason series win in the Calder Cup Playoffs last season. San Diego will face Texas on one other occasion this campaign at Valley View Casino Center on Feb. 24.