March 31, 2017
TUCSON, Ariz. – The San Diego Gulls (39-17-3-2, 83 pts.) set a franchise-record with six goals in the first period and tied the club record for goals in a single game in an 8-2 rout of the Tucson Roadrunners (26-29-7-0; 59 pts.) at Tucson Arena Friday night. The eight goals tie a mark set earlier this season at Tucson in an 8-1 romp on Jan. 25.
Defenseman Andy Welinski (3-1=4) recorded the first hat trick in club history in the 129th game since the club’s launch in San Diego last season. Fifteen of San Diego’s 18 skaters recorded a point in the win, including six multi-point efforts.
The Gulls improved to 11-3-1-0 in their last 15 games and have won 15 of the last 20 games (15-4-1-0). San Diego has also earned standings points in 16 of the last 21 (15-5-1-0), as well as points in 32 of 38 contests since Christmas (28-6-2-2). Additionally, the Gulls have earned standings points in 11 of the past 15 road games (11-3-1) and 17 of 20 road contests overall (15-3-1-1).
Max Gortz put the Gulls up 1-0 only 2:04 into the contest when he one-timed a great feed from Spencer Abbott past Roadrunners goaltender Marek Langhamer. Gortz has earned 3-13=16 points in his last 19 games and Abbott (0-3=3) recorded his second three-point game of the season (last: Oct. 29, 2016 w/ Rockford at Chicago).
A little over a minute later Clayton Stoner’s blast from the point beat Langhamer to extend San Diego’s lead to 2-0. The goal marked Stoner’s first as a Gull in three games since joining the team from the Anaheim Ducks on a Long-Term Injury Conditioning Loan.
Just 39 seconds after Stoner’s goal, Nate Guenin found Kevin Roy alone in front and the Gulls’ rookie put home the rebound off his own shot to give San Diego a 3-0 advantage. The three goals marked the earliest three goals scored to start a game in Gulls history with three markers in 4:03, surpassing the three goals scored in 5:42 to start the game on Dec. 12, 2015 at San Jose. Langhamer (7-10-1) was pulled after surrendering three goals on six shots. Adin Hill played the rest of the contest stopping 13-of-18 shots in 55:57 played.
The Gulls did not let up as Andy Welinski netted his fourth goal of the campaign to push San Diego’s lead to 4-0 only 6:16 into the opening period. The four-goal explosion also set a new franchise record as the earliest four goals to start a game in Gulls history with four in 6:16, surpassing four goals scored in 14:01 to start the game on Mar. 8, 2017 vs. San Jose.
Tucson got one back at 9:08 as Jeremy Morin’s wrist shot off a face-off beat Enroth to cut San Diego’s lead to 4-1. Late in the opening frame, San Diego added to its lead when Jordan Samuels-Thomas finished off a great feed from Roy to make it a 5-1 game at 17:30.
San Diego wasn’t finished as Kalle Kossila scored at 19:07 of the first period to make it 6-1, setting a new franchise mark for most goals in a single period. The six goals in 19:07 also set a new club record for the six fastest goals to start a game as the most historic period in Gulls’ history came to an end.
In the middle frame, Welinski’s wicked wrist shot from the right circle put San Diego up 7-1 at 4:37. Welinski set a new career high with four points on the night and also registered the first multi-goal game of his career.
Laurent Dauphin corralled a loose puck in the slot and wristed a shot past Enroth at 9:02 to pull Tucson back within five goals at 7-2. The game settled down after Laurent’s tally and the Gulls took a five-goal margin into the locker room after 40 minutes of play.
Welinski struck again at 2:02 of the final stanza on a blast from the point to earn the hat trick and nudge San Diego’s lead to 8-2. Neither team scored the rest of the period as San Diego skated off with its 10th win against the Roadrunners in 11 contests.
San Diego goaltender Jhonas Enroth (11-2-0) made 24 saves in his first start since Feb. 18 and improved to 11-2-0 with two shutouts, a 1.47 GAA and .943 SV% in 13 games since joining the Gulls on Jan .10.
The Gulls conclude their season series with the Roadrunners tomorrow night (7 p.m.) and will travel to Stockton the to finish their three-game road trip at the Heat on Wednesday, Apr. 5 (7 p.m.) San Diego will return home on Friday, Apr. 7 to take on the Ontario Reign at Valley View Casino Center (7 p.m.) as the Gulls will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Anaheim Ducks 2007 Stanley Cup Championship. A limited number of tickets are available by visiting AXS.com/Gulls or by phone at (619) 359-4730.
NOTES: Nate Guenin, Corey Tropp, Tyler Morley, Scott Sabourin, Antoine Laganiere, Ondrej Kase and Jaycob Megna each registered assists for San Diego…Sam Carrick (0-2=2) notched his seventh multi-point game of the campaign and has 3-7=10 points in 12 games with the Gulls…Rookie Kevin Roy added two assists in his eighth multi-point game…Tropp contributed his team-leading 33rd assist of the season and has 13-15=28 points in his last 26 games…all eight of San Diego’s goals came at even strength and all were scored at five-on-five.
1. Andy Welinski (SD)
2. Spencer Abbott (SD)
3. Max Gortz (SD)