March 12, 2017
The San Diego Gulls (34-15-3-2, 73 pts.) saw their seven-game point streak snapped in a 3-0 loss to the San Jose Barracuda (36-12-2-4; 78 pts.) at SAP Center on Sunday afternoon. Barracuda netminder Troy Grosenick (24-8-3) made 25 saves in his AHL-leading ninth shutout and third against the Gulls this season.
Despite the loss, the Gulls have wins in 16 of their last 20 contests (16-3-1) and 23 of the last 29 overall (23-3-1-1). San Diego has also earned standings points in 23 of the last 26 games (21-3-1-1), as well as points in 27 of 31 contests since Christmas (23-4-2-2).
The Gulls generated a majority of the chances in a scoreless first period as they outshot San Jose by 10-4 margin, but Grosenick was the star of the opening frame. The AHL-All Star robbed Gulls forwards Spencer Abbott and Tyler Morley on quality scoring chances to keep the game scoreless after 20 minutes of play.
Special teams proved important in the middle stanza as San Diego took three minor penalties in the period. The Gulls were able to kill off the first two with numerous blocked shots and key saves from rookie goaltender Kevin Boyle, but San Jose finally broke through on the third man advantage of the period.
Daniel O’Regan broke the scoreless tie with a perfect wrist shot from a tight angle that snuck over Boyle’s shoulder and ricocheted out of the net just as fast as it entered. O’Regan leads all AHL rookies with 19-31=50 points on the campaign and has scored 3-6=9 points against the Gulls in nine meetings.
San Diego earned a power play of its’ own less than a minute after O’Regan’s goal and looked to even the score but lost any possible momentum 26 seconds into the man advantage. An unfortunate bounce for the Gulls at the San Jose blue line led to a Buddy Robinson breakaway that he finished off by sliding a backhand past Boyle to double the home club’s lead to 2-0.
The Gulls made a push in the third period but could not solve the Grosenick for a third time in three matinee games at SAP Center this season. The 27-year-old made save-after-save throughout the final frame to shut the door on the Gulls. Barclay Goodrow added a late empty-net goal at 18:29 of the final period to seal the game as San Jose put the finishing touches on a 5-0-0 mark against San Diego at home this season.
Boyle (9-4-4) stopped 23 of 25 shots in his first regulation loss since Jan. 6 vs. San Antonio, and despite the loss has been steady in net. The rookie goaltender has posted a 9-2-3 record with a 2.01 goals-against average, .931 save percentage and one shutout in his last 14 appearances for San Diego.
San Diego returns home to host the Stockton Heat on Wednesday, Mar. 15 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’s five game goal-scoring streak and seven game point streak came to an end today…Sam Carrick’s seven-game point streak also came to an end…San Diego was shutout for the first time since a 3-0 loss on Dec. 11 at San Jose… San Jose forward Kevin Labanc recorded an assist and has 1-2=3 points in his last three contests…Timo Meier notched his 11th assist of the season and has 3-1=4 points in seven contests against San Diego.
1. Troy Grosenick (SJ)
2. Daniel O’Regan (SJ)
3. Buddy Robinson (SJ)