December 26, 2015

GAME PREVIEW: The Gulls Return From the Holiday Break to Take On the Ontario Reign in Second of Consecutive Games (7:05 p.m.)

The Gulls are back home in San Diego for the second of just two home games in December and the second of consecutive games vs. the Ontario Reign. The team had five days off for the holiday break before returning for back-to-back games vs. Ontario and Bakersfield this weekend.

The Gulls are coming off of a 3-2 shootout victory over the Reign last Saturday at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA. The Gulls lead the Reign 3-1 in the season series thus far.

Nick Ritchie opened scoring in last Saturday’s contest, picking up his sixth power play goal of the season at 11:22 of the first period. The Reign answered shortly thereafter as forward Justin Auger converted a turnover to score with 3:32 remaining in the frame.

Nick Ritchie tallied his second goal of the game and his eleventh of the season at 4:11 of the second period to again put the Gulls up by one.

The Gulls held the lead until Ontario goalie Peter Budaj took a seat on the bench as an extra Reign attacker took the ice. Center Kris Newbury grabbed a loose puck and netted the tying goal with just 24 seconds remaining in regulation.

Neither team could find the back on the net in overtime sending the game to a shootout decision.

Nick Ritchie took the ice first in the shootout and tallied one for the Gulls. San Diego goaltender Anton Khudobin stopped both Sean Backman and Kris Newbury’s attempts consecutively. Center Mike Sgarbossa netted the winning shootout goal, his second shootout goal of the year, to seal the victory.

In his second consecutive start, Anton Khudobin made 27 saves in regulation and overtime combined, and stopped both Ontario shootout attempts to secure the win.

Entering this evening’s game, the Gulls are 14-10-0-1 (29 points). The Reign have a season record of 16-4-2-1 (35 points).

The Gulls and Reign will meet eight more times in the regular season (including tonight). Three of these contests will be held at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA, and five will be at Valley View Casino Center.