November 27, 2015
SAN DIEGO—Shea Theodore scored his second goal of the season and Chris Mueller added a pair of assists as the San Diego Gulls (10-7-0-1) snapped a six-game losing streak, beating the Ontario Reign 3-2 in front of 9,251 fans at Valley View Casino Center. Nic Kerdiles and Kyle Bonis added goals for San Diego, and the Gulls killed a 6-on-4 power play for the final 1:25 of the third period.
The Gulls received much-needed reinforcements to their roster prior to the game, as Mueller was returned after a two-game stint with the NHL parent club Anaheim Ducks. The Gulls also received center Nate Thompson from Anaheim, on a conditioning loan. Bryan Moore, Matt Berry and Eric Knodel were returned to the ECHL Utah Grizzlies from the Gulls roster.
San Diego struck first when Shane O’Brien held in an attempted clear by the Reign and skated in between the circles, finding Nic Kerdiles on right wing for a drive that deflected off traffic and into the net for his fourth goal of the season at 11:57 of the first period. It was the first time in five games the Gulls were able to capture the game’s first goal.
The second period saw Kyle Bonis continue to impress. The winger, on a PTO from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, pivoted on the right circle to fire home his first AHL goal of the season at 4:32, cashing in assists from Max Friberg and Michael Sgarbossa.
The Reign (11-3-2-0]) battled back behind the first of two goals from Michael Mersch, cutting the San Diego lead to 2-1 at 7:13 of the second period. The Ontario power play goal was countered by the Gulls when Shea Theodore notched his second of the year, snapping home a wrist shot from outside the left circle to re-establish a two-goal advantage on home ice. Mueller and Brandon Montour received assists on the goal; for Montour, his AHL-leading eleventh power play assist.
Mersch gloved down a blue line shot and pivoted to beat Gulls goalie Matt Hackett (23 saves) 9:48 into the third period with his second power play goal of the night and team-leading eleventh of the season. Ontario had two more chances to tie on the power play, and pulled goalie Peter Budaj with 1:25 remaining after a Sgarbossa tripping penalty to induce a 6-on-4 ice advantage. The Gulls were able to withstand the rally and post their tenth win of the season while evening the season series with the Reign at 1-1.
The Gulls and Reign pick up their skates and head up the I-15 for a rematch on Saturday evening at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, set for a 6pm faceoff.