November 28, 2015

ONTARIO—The San Diego Gulls built a 3-0 lead over the Ontario Reign through two periods before holding on for a 3-1 victory at Citizens Business Bank Arena, sweeping a weekend home-and-home series from the AHL Pacific Division leaders.

Tim Jackman, Nic Kerdiles and Antoine Laganiere all found the back of the net for San Diego (11-7-0-1), while goalie Ryan Faragher stopped 24 shots in his first start of the season to capture the victory.

The two southern California AHL rivals began the night on a contentious note, as heavyweights Brian McGrattan and Paul Bissonnette dropped the gloves 2:51 into the game for a spirited scrap. It was the second time these two have squared off this season, both in Ontario.

Later in the first, the Gulls were in the midst of a penalty kill when defenseman Stu Bickel poked a clear forward to Tim Jackman, who found himself on a short-handed breakaway. Jackman made no mistake, calmly turning Ontario goalie Peter Budaj before slotting home his first goal of the season for a 1-0 Gulls lead at 4:55.

Leading 1-0 after twenty minutes, the Gulls converted a power play midway into the second period to double their lead. Nic Kerdiles maintained a strong presence in front of Budaj, tipping Brandon Montour’s drive from the point past the Slovakian goalie for his fifth goal of the season and a 2-0 advantage at 10:20. Montour maintained the AHL lead with his twelfth power play assist of the season.

Five minutes later, it was Antoine Laganiere making a strong move into the slot in front of Budaj, picking up a pass from Shea Theodore through traffic off his skate, onto his blade and into the net for his fifth goal of the season. The Gulls led 3-0 after two periods.

Adrian Kempe scored as the trailer on a 2-on-1 rush after a Gulls giveaway at their blue line, narrowing the San Diego lead to 3-1 at 12:52 in the third, but the deficit was too deep for the Reign (11-4-2-0) to overcome. San Diego captured all four points from the Reign over the weekend, bringing an emphatic end to the six-game losing streak they had carried into play.

The Gulls return to the road on Friday, Dec. 4 when they take on the Bakersfield Condors from Rabobank Arena.