Gulls Look to Turn Down the HeatNov 11, 2019
The Gulls will look to make it a perfect road trip and continue a four-game winning streak tonight when the visit the Stockton Heat to close out a three-game swing at Stockton Arena (1 p.m.).
On the heels of four straight wins to open the month and a 3-1 victory over San Jose last night, the Gulls will face a Heat club that suffered its first regulation loss in eight games and only its second of the season Saturday at Tucson after a run of points in seven straight games before the setback.
Stockton Arena hasn’t been a kind place for the Gulls who have a 6-11-1-2 mark in the building. But powered by a newfound offense the last four games, San Diego has netted 18 goals in the span with the four straight wins currently tied for the second-longest streak in the AHL (Milwaukee and Tucson) behind only Laval (six).
Sam Carrick has scored in consecutive games with the captain picking up the game-winning goal in each of the contests to begin the road trip. Carrick has four points his last four games (3-1=4) and seven points his last six (3-4=7) to now co-lead the Gulls in scoring (3-5=8) and goals, sharing the team lead in points with Kiefer Sherwood (3-5=8).
Alex Dostie has netted goals in consecutive games as well (2-1=3) and has also earned four points his last four games (3-1=4) while Jack Kopacka is riding a three-game point streak (1-3=4) and Justin Kloos has points and assists in three straight (0-5=5) to now lead San Diego with six assists and a +4 rating.
Anthony Stolarz has won each of San Diego’s four games this season, but with last night’s game ending around 7:30 p.m. and today’s 1 p.m. puck drop, it’s likely Kevin Boyle takes the net for his first start since Oct. 25 vs. Ontario. Boyle has yet to pick up a win, but in 100 career AHL games the 26-year old netminder has posted a 53-33-8 record with a 2.73 goals-against average (GAA) and .914 save percentage (SV%).
These teams will continue a 12-game season series with the third contest of the 2019-20 set, the second matchup at Stockton Arena to date. Stockton has picked up a pair of victories over the Gulls this season already, a 5-3 win Oct. 12 at Stockton Arena followed by another five-goal performance Oct. 18 at Pechanga Arena (5-1) in the Gulls home opener.
Today also marks the first of five matinee contests this season. In 2018-19, the club earned a 4-1-0-1 in day games while posting a 13-7-0-2 mark all-time.
Stockton (7-2-1-2) put together a 4-0-1-2 streak from Oct. 18-Nov. 9 that helped vault the club to third in the Pacific Division (17 points) and second overall among Western Conference clubs with a .708 points percentage.
Heat defenseman Oliver Kylington picked up a hat trick Saturday (3-0=3), recording the first hat trick by a defenseman in the club’s five-year history. The Swedish blueliner began the season with the Calgary Flames before being assigned to Stockton prior to the club’s weekend back-to-back in Tucson.
Forward Glen Gawdin leads the Heat in scoring (4-9=13) and assists, but Buddy Robinson has paced the club with eight goals to date (8-3=11) while Ryan Lomberg has matched Robinson with 11 points himself (5-6=11). Robinson enters today with a three-game point streak (1-3=4). Dillon Dube has scored in back-to-back games (2-0=2) while he has a goal in three of his last five overall (3-0=3).
Rookie goaltender Artyom Zagidulin has posted a 5-1-1 record in eight appearances, while posting a 3.70 GAA and .874 SV%. Chronic thorn in the Gulls side is Jon Gillies who stopped 23 shots in San Diego last month. Gillies is 2-1-2 with a 2.21 GAA and .916 SV% in five games.
With special teams always a factor, both teams will put out units where something will have to give. Last night the Gulls killed all four penalties and have negated 21 of the opposition’s last 22 power-play chances (95.5%) dating to Oct. 25. The Heat enter today’s contest boasting the top power play in the league, ticking at 29.4 percent (15-for-51). The man advantage has a 23.8 percent success rate at Stockton Arena (5-for-21) but enters today on the heels of a four-goal night on the power play Saturday.