Gulls Allow Late Goal in Loss to OntarioNov 29, 2019
In a battle between two goaltenders, the Gulls fell to the Ontario Reign 2-1 tonight at Toyota Arena. Despite the setback, San Diego has earned points in eight of its last 10 games (7-2-1-0, 15 pts.). Kevin Boyle made 24 saves on 26 shots while Cal Petersen earned his ninth win for Ontario with 28 saves.
Ontario’s Martin Frk scored the game-winning goal with 82 second left in regulation to seal their first win in seven games and erase a six-game losing streak. Despite seven power-play opportunities in the contest, including three in the first half of the final period, San Diego couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage with the lone goal coming from forward Alex Dostie.
"Yeah, we need to go to the net, we need to bury our chances," Dostie said following the loss. "We had some chances. We had a lot of shots on goal as well, but we just need to score more than one goal to win the game."
Ontario left wingers Mikey Eyssimont and Lance Bouma gave San Diego two chances on the power play in the first period after they were whistled for slashing and hooking minors. The Gulls were unable to capitalize although they had several chances on the man advantage. Both netminders held strong in net as each Boyle and Petersen stopped two-on-one rushes on the Gulls power play.
After 20 minutes of play, San Diego led 14-6 in shots as five different players recorded multiple shots.
Heading into the second frame, the scoreless tie didn’t last long as Dostie scored one of the more impressive goals of the season at the 1:45 mark of the period. After an extended forecheck in the Reign zone, Hunter Drew intercepted an attempt to clear the zone and immediately shot it at Petersen. Dostie came around the back of the net and redirected the shot past Petersen’s blocker.
"That was just a high-end play," head coach Kevin Dineen said following the game. "You can say that there was some luck, but when you’re trying to put a puck on net and you get a high-end deflection like that, it was just a really solid goal. That’s something I’m going to give him a lot of credit for. Quick hands and some skill set so well done by Dostie."
The goal marks the 10th time in the last 11 games that San Diego has netted the first goal. Dostie is enjoying a breakout campaign as the center now has six goals and eight points in his last 11 games (6-2=8). Drew has also experienced some recent success as the rookie blueliner has recorded 1-2=3 points in his last five games.
The Reign answered with a goal of their own 5:45 later as Lance Bouma flung a shot on net that beat Boyle to tie the game. Carl Grundstrom made the initial pass from along the boards that found Bouma in the slot. Trying to fight off an Ontario defender, Bouma’s shot found its way past Boyle on an odd trajectory. After 40 minutes of play the score was tied at one goal apiece, but San Diego held the lead in shots 21-12.
The third frame began with a flurry of penalties going each way and a lot of special teams play. Ontario was whistled for four separate minors and San Diego picked up another two all within the first half of the period separated by just 6:21 of play.
After a late holding call on Jani Hakanpaa, the Gulls penalty kill unit was tested again. A cross-ice pass left Boyle exposed on the man advantage, but Scott Moldenhauer blocked a one-timer with his leg, keeping the game even. But just as the penalty expired, Hakanpaa exited the box and before he could reach the open man, another pass across the slot found Frk who fired the puck as quickly as he received it. This time, the shot beat Boyle’s blocker side and the Reign took the lead with 1:22 remaining in the game.
"To be honest, I’m not really sure what happened," Sam Carrick described when discussing Ontario's game-winning goal. "I know it was a seam pass and that’s going to happen. The team is going to make plays sometimes, but I think if we’re in just a little better position, we can get a stick on that. I thought for the most part we controlled the game pretty good. We had to put these guys away and we just didn’t capitalize on it. It starts with the power play. We have to be a little better there and this game should’ve been ours."
San Diego pulled Boyle from the net in a late attempt to tie the game but failed to score a goal. San Diego was unable to score on seven power-play opportunities and Ontario won the contest by a score of 2-1 to break its six-game losing streak.
San Diego will conclude their November schedule and the weekend back-to-back tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 30 vs. the Tucson Roadrunners at Pechanga Arena San Diego (7 p.m.).