Feb. 18, 2017
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Gulls (28-14-2-2, 60 pts.) saw its six-game home winning streak come to an end in a 5-2 loss to the Tucson Roadrunners (22-18-5-0; 49 pts.) in front of a sellout crowd of 12,920 fans at Valley View Casino Center on Saturday night. Tonight’s sellout was the third sellout in club history after the team sold out its game on Jan. 20, 2016 and the inaugural game on Oct. 10, 2015 last season (both 12,920).
Tucson goaltender Adin Hill (13-7-4) made 36 saves and Ryan MacInnis (1-1=2) scored the game-winning goal in the Roadrunners’ first regulation win against the Gulls this season in seven games.
“I thought their goalie was incredible in the third period,” said head coach Dallas Eakins of Hill. “We went into their building about a month ago and took three straight games from them. They were a highly motivated group tonight.”
Despite the loss, San Diego is 10-2-0 in its last 12 games and has won 17 of the last 21 games (17-3-0-1) overall and earned standings points in 16 of the last 18 games (15-2-0-1).
A scoreless first period saw the Gulls earn two power plays and outshoot the Roadrunners 10-7. San Diego generated a few good looks on its man advantage opportunities, but could not solve Tucson goaltender Adin Hill.
Nic Kerdiles opened the scoring at 3:29 of the second period when he took a feed from Max Gortz and beat Hill with a booming slapshot on a partial breakaway. Kerdiles has three goals his last two games and extended his point streak to five games (3-5=8).
“My success comes from having great linemates,” said Kerdiles. “We have a lot of chemistry right now and the numbers show that. We know where one another are on the ice and we’re getting chances every night.”
Gortz found Kerdiles again later in the period and the 23-year-old hammered a one-timer past Hill to extend San Diego’s lead to 2-0. Gortz recorded his second multi-point game of the year and extended his point streak to four games (0-5=5), his longest since a career high six-game point streak from Dec. 18-29, 2015 (w/ MIL).
Tucson earned a late power play and cashed in on former Gull Chris Muller’s 11th goal of the season off a setup from Anthony DeAngelo. Mueller leads the Roadrunners with 11-31=42 points on the campaign and has 4-4=8 points in seven meetings against San Diego this season.
The Roadrunners tied the game 3:05 into the third period when veteran Zbynek Michalek’s drive from the point beat a screened Enroth. Enroth (12-3-0) made 21 saves and fell to 10-2-0 in 12 appearances with San Diego this season.
San Diego dominated long stretches of third period, peppering Hill with multiple grade-A chances but the Tucson netminder kept the game tied with huge saves off bids Shea Thoedore and Nick Sorensen to keep the game tied 2-2.
Ryan MacInnis gave Tucson their first lead of the night at 12:34 when his wrist shot off the rush beat Enroth. The Roadrunners doubled their lead three minutes later as Branden Troock’s bid from the side of the net snuck past Enroth for his first goal of the season.
Laurent Dauphin added a late empty-net goal to seal the victory in Tucson’s seventh road win of the season.
San Diego continues its three-game homestand next Friday night against the Texas Stars at Valley View Casino Center (7 p.m.). Fans can purchase tickets by visiting AXS.com/Gulls or by phone at (619) 359-4730.
NOTES: Jaycob Megna tallied his 16th assist of the season and leads all active Gulls defenseman with 4-16=20 points…Chris Wagner also registered an assist and has earned 6-5=11 points in his last 14 contests…Tucson forward Anthony DeAngelo (0-2=2) recorded his third multi-point effort of the season…San Diego is now 17-12-2-1 in back-to-back games and 8-8-1-0 in the second contest.
1. Branden Troock (SD)
2. Nic Kerdiles (SD)
3. Adin Hill (TUC)