March 17, 2017
SAN ANTONIO – Rookie Kevin Roy scored the game-winning goal 16 seconds into overtime to propel the San Diego Gulls (36-15-3-2, 77 pts.) to its eighth win in the last 10 games (8-1-1-0) in a 2-1 victory over the San Antonio Rampage (24-32-5-1; 54 pts.) at AT&T Center on Friday night. Kalle Kossila recorded two assists in his 12th multi-point game of the season and goaltender Dustin Tokarski (15-6-1) made 26 saves as San Diego improved to 8-1-0 all-time vs. the Rampage, including a 4-0-0 mark in San Antonio.
The Gulls have won 12 of the last 15 games (12-2-1-0), 18 of their last 22 (18-3-1) and 25 of the last 31 overall (25-3-1-1). San Diego has also earned standings points in 24 of the last 27 games (22-3-1-1), as well as points in 28 of 32 contests since Christmas (24-4-2-2). Additionally, the Gulls have won nine of the past 11 games on the road (9-1-1) and earned standings points in 15 of the last 16 contests (14-1-0-1) away from home dating back to Dec. 29.
San Diego opened the scoring only 31 seconds into the contest when Antoine Laganiere picked up a loose puck in the slot and snapped his 20th goal of the campaign past San Antonio netminder Spencer Martin. The goal was the fastest to start a game this season, surpassing Corey Tropp’s goal 58 seconds into the first period at San Jose on Mar. 5. Laganiere’s tally matched the club record for goals (20) to tie Corey Tropp’s 20 this season and former Gull Chris Mueller’s 20 goals in 2015-16. The Goal was also his 32nd point (20-12=32) of the campaign, matching his career-high of 32 set last season (16-16=32).
The Gulls generated a majority of the scoring chances the rest of the first period, outshooting the Rampage 14-9 and took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes of play.
A scoreless second period saw the clubs trade chances, but neither could find the back of the net. San Antonio earned two power plays in the stanza and looked to tie the game, only to see Dustin Tokarski make several key saves to keep the Rampage off the board. The veteran netminder is now 6-0-0 in his last seven appearances with a 2.38 GAA and .912 SV% since returning to action on Feb. 12 from a lower-body injury
San Antonio controlled the third frame and finally got on the board 13:46 when Alex Belzile, all alone in front, and snuck the rebound of Troy Bourke’s shot past Tokarski to tie the game 1-1.
Each team had grade-A chances in the final five minutes of the stanza to take the lead, but the goaltenders stood tall as the clubs headed to a five-minute three-on-three overtime period.
16 seconds into the extra session Kossila connected with Roy on a cross-ice pass and the Quebec native waited out Martin and lifted a wrist shot over his blocker to win the game. The rookie continues to impress as he has earned 12 points in his last 16 games (2-10=12) and 15 points in his last 20 (3-12=15).
San Diego conclude this back-to-back set against the San Antonio Rampage tomorrow night (5:00 p.m. PT). The Gulls return home to host the San Jose Barracuda on on Wednesday, Mar. 22 at Valley View Casino Center (7:00 p.m.) Fans can purchase tickets by visiting AXS.com/Gulls or by phone at (619) 359-4730.
NOTES: Corey Tropp recorded an assist and has points in nine of his last 10 games (8-6=14) and 12-13=25 points over his last 20 games…Andy Welinski also registered an assist for the Gulls and now leads all active San Diego defensemen with 20 assists on the season…San Diego improved to 17-4-3-2 in one-goal games and 26-2-1-0 when allowing two goals or less…San Antonio netminder Spencer Martin 17-18-3 stopped 28-of-30 shots in his 18th loss of the season.
1. Kevin Roy (SD)
2. Dustin Tokarski (SD)
3. Alex Belzile (SA)