February 17, 2016
SAN DIEGO – Brett Ritchie netted a goal with three assists and Curtis McKenzie added a goal with two helpers as the Texas Stars outscored the San Diego Gulls by a final score of 6-3 on Wednesday night at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego.
Chris Mueller, Ondrej Kase and Andrew O’Brien scored for the Gulls (23-20-1-1), who saw their two-game winning streak come to an end. The Stars (31-18-3-3) won their sixth straight contest overall, finishing the season series against San Diego with a 5-1-0 record.
The Gulls got into an up-and-down game with one of the more skilled teams in the American Hockey League, and the result was a free-for-all with 80 combined shots. After a defensive giveaway at San Diego’s blue line midway through the first period, Remi Elie banged home a scramble goal in front of Gulls’ netminder Matt Hackett at the 9:30 mark to give Texas a 1-0 lead.
San Diego found themselves down 2-0 at the 14:43 mark of the first on a Matej Stransky power play goal, coming after the Gulls had killed a two-man advantage for 37 seconds. San Diego found themselves down 2-0 after twenty minutes.
The Gulls would find the back of the net quickly in the second period, as Mike Sgarbossa’s backhand pass from behind the end line connected with Chris Mueller on the short side, who sticked the puck past Texas goalie Maxime Legace for his tenth goal of the year, narrowing the deficit to 2-1 just 1:15 into the frame.
Texas regained a two-goal lead on Jason Dickinson’s score at 6:47 of the second, but San Diego answered back at 10:52 when Ondrej Kase, playing his first game after missing 42 straight with an upper-body injury, parked the rebound of a Joe Piskula shot for his second goal of the year, cutting the lead to 3-2.
The Stars had an answer to every goal on this night and Cole Ully’s score at 17:46 regained a two-goal lead after forty minutes. Andrew O’Brien and Curtis McKenzie exchanged goals in the third before Ritchie’s empty netter at 17:36 concluded the scoring.
The Gulls will head back on the road on Friday night to take on the Bakersfield Condors from Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield before returning to Valley View Casino Center on Saturday to host the first place Ontario Reign.
NOTES: First goal has determined the winner in fifteen straight Gulls games and 20 of the last 21…Kase added an assist with his goal for a two point night…Mike Sgarbossa had a pair of helpers in the loss…the Stars outscored the Gulls 29-15 in the season series…Korbinian Holzer, assigned to the Gulls on a conditioning assignment from the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, was scoreless with three shots and an even rating…Brandon Montour’s four-game points streak came to an end, as he was scoreless on four shots.
1st Star: TEX Brett Ritchie (1-3=4); 2nd Star: TEX Curtis McKenzie (1-2=3); 3rd Star: SD Ondrej Kase (1-1=2)