Gulls Look to Sink Barracuda on Home Ice
San Diego beat San Jose 3-1 on Sunday at SAP CenterNov 13, 2019
Winners of four of the last five games, the Gulls return home to host the San Jose Barracuda tonight at Pechanga Arena San Diego (7 p.m., Radio: San Diego Gulls Audio Network) in the second meeting between the clubs in the last four days. San Diego collected four points on their recent three-game road trip (2-1-0-0) and won four straight before dropping a 6-3 contest Monday at Stockton.
These teams met during the halfway point of the Gulls three-game trek, with San Diego taking a 3-1 victory at SAP Center Sunday courtesy of goals from Alex Dostie, Sam Carrick and Blake Pietila. Over five seasons in the Pacific Division, San Diego has posted a 24-15-2-1 record vs. the Barracuda, with a 13-5-1-1 mark at home. The Gulls (4-7-0-0) had a slow start to the season, but with a recent momentum shift and win streak, now sit one point behind San Jose in the division. San Jose (4-6-0-1) have also had a tumultuous start to their season through 11 games, dropping four straight games entering tonight (0-3-0-1).
A familiar face will join the Gulls for tonight’s matchups as the Anaheim Ducks reassigned left wing Max Comtois last night. The rookie forward will take the ice in a Gulls sweater for the second time this season following his lone contest Oct. 4 at Bakersfield. In his 13 games with the Ducks this season, Comtois has recorded five points (2-3=5), including one power-play goal.
After San Diego’s offense scored 10 goals its first six games, the Gulls have found the back of the net 21 times the last five games (4.2 goals-per game). Sam Carrick enters tonight’s contest holding on to a three-game point streak as he came home from the road trip with four points (3-1=4). Carrick also has eight points his last seven games (4-4=8) to co-lead the club in scoring (4-5=9) and goals.
Alex Broadhurst is looking to extend his point streak to three games tonight after picking up two points in his last two contests (1-1=2). He assisted on Blake Pietila’s goal Sunday at San Jose and scored a shorthanded goal in Monday’s matchup at Stockton, his second shorthanded goal in a four-game span.
Forward Kiefer Sherwood has also helped the team’s recent production, co-leading San Diego with nine points (3-6=9) while collecting five points his last five. Goaltender Anthony Stolarz (4-4-0-0) enters tonight with four consecutive wins, backstopping the team to each of their four victories.
In Sunday’s matchup, Barracuda forward Joachim Blichfeld prevented Stolarz from recording his first shutout when one of the 17 shots the 26-year old goaltender faced in the second period found the net. After a blocked shot created a breakaway chance, Blichfeld was able to capitalize on the rebound, scoring Barracuda’s lone goal of the game.
Joel Kellman joined the San Jose organization in the off-season after playing five seasons in the Swedish Hockey League. Kellman is the Barracuda’s current point leader (1-8=9) after appearing in all 11 games. The Swedish forward recorded a six-game point streak from Oct 11-30 (1-7=8), the longest for San Jose this season. Lean Bergman, an undrafted rookie, has started 2019-20 averaging over a point per-game through his first six games (3-5=8).
Goaltender Josef Korenar carries his momentum from his notable rookie season in 2018-19 as he has maintained his starting role this season. Korenar (3-3-1) recorded shut outs in back-to-back starts Oct. 26 vs. Colorado and Oct. 30 vs. Bakersfield. Korenar didn’t start Sunday night after he gave up five goals Saturday at Bakersfield, but still leads the club in all goaltending categories, including wins, games (7), GAA (2.27) and SV% (.914). Rookie Andrew Shortridge (1-3-0) picked up the loss Sunday to the Gulls, allowing all three goals, entering tonight’s game with a 3.31 GAA and .873 SV%. Shortridge was signed by the San Jose Sharks Apr. 3 at the conclusion of his junior season at Quinnipiac University in the spring. He amassed a career 41-24-4 collegiate record with a 1.93 GAA and .924 save percentage in 74 games.