Oct. 14, 2017
Steve Oleksy, Mike Liambas and Kevin Roy scored in a three-goal second period outburst, as the San Diego Gulls (2-1-0) posted a 5-1 win over the Texas Stars on Saturday night at Valley View Casino Center. Kevin Boyle earned his second win in net with 19 saves. A crowd of 7,109 saw the Gulls even up their weekend series with the Stars (3-1-0), who suffered their first loss of the 2017-18 AHL campaign.
“I thought in the second and third periods we played well,” said head coach Dallas Eakins, “(Kalle) Kossila was so good tonight. Boyle was excellent.”
The Gulls scored in the early, middle and late minutes of what turned out to be a decisive second period. Veteran defenseman Steve Oleksy notched a goal and assist to put San Diego ahead for good 1:12 into the frame with his second goal of the season, a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. Kalle Kossila earned the assist on the play, the first of two helpers on the night for his first multi-point game of the season. Last season with the Gulls, Kossila recorded 12 multi-point games and six multi-assist contests.
Later in the period, the Gulls turned a Texas power play to their own advantage courtesy of a Kossila steal and rush. The second-year Finnish center perfectly timed a pass back on the wing to Mike Liambas who one-timed a low shot past Texas goalie Mike McKenna for a 3-1 lead and San Diego’s first shorthanded goal of the season at 11:44. Kevin Roy capped the period with a last-minute goal with 21.9 seconds on the clock, skating in on left wing off a feed from rookie Deven Sideroff. Roy scored high over McKenna’s shoulder and into top netting for a 4-1 advantage at 19:38 of the second stanza.
San Diego rookie Alex Dostie, selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the fourth round (115th overall) of the 2016 NHL draft, scored his first professional goal to open the scoring at 5:20 of the opening period, finishing off a pass from Corey Tropp, who battled two Stars defenseman to establish position.
“It’s incredible to play my first game here in San Diego,” said Dostie, “The crowd is awesome, and to score in my first game, in the first period, is pretty special. I will remember that the rest of my life.”
Texas’ Jason Dickenson answered later in the first with his team-leading fourth goal of the year at 16:54, potting a rebound from Travis Morin.
The Gulls worked the clock down in the third period, scoring late on a 5-on-3 power play. Rookie Giovanni Fiore netted his first San Diego goal at 16:36 on assists from Jacob Larsson and Sam Carrick.
San Diego hits the road next weekend for a back-to-back matchup at Stockton Arena against the Stockton Heat on Friday Oct. 20 (7 p.m.) and Saturday, Oct. 21 (6 p.m.)
1. Steve Oleksy (SD)
2. Kalle Kossila (SD)
3. Mike Liambas (SD)