Kloos, Gulls Soar in Shootout WinDec 13, 2019
Justin Kloos scored the shootout deciding goal, and Kevin Boyle made 41 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped both attempts in a 2-1 shootout win over the Colorado Eagles Budweiser Events Center. The win marked the first for Boyle and San Diego’s fourth straight over the Eagles as they improved to 10-4-1-0 the last 15 games.
Corey Tropp’s first goal of the season and Alex Broadhurst’s shootout goal helped San Diego to the victory in their first contest outside California this season. The Gulls also killed all four of Colorado’s power play attempts.
“We’ve had pretty good luck against Colorado. Boy did they ever push hard at different points of the game, but we had a good response in the third period,” said head coach Kevin Dineen. “You’re deep into the season but hadn’t gotten into a shootout yet, but I thought we managed the game well the last 10 minutes and got it to (the shootout). We obviously picked the right guys. That felt good to get that road win.”
After making a season-high 41 saves, and standing tall with two in the shootout, the victory marked his first since Apr. 5 vs. Ontario, a span of 10 games.
“I threw the monkey off my back. It’s been a long two months, but it feels great,” said Boyle following the game. “The boys have supported me the whole way and so has [Anthony Stolarz]. He’s been playing great. That’s my job, just be ready whenever I get the call. Got a couple of lucky breaks out there, but it feels good.”
For just the third time this Gulls season, the game remained scoreless on both side of the ice after 20 minutes of play. San Diego took three minor penalties in the first period, but the club was able to kill off all three Colorado power-play chances in the opening frame. The Eagles led 12-10 in shots opening frame, including a string of eight consecutive chances for Colorado over 5:37 of play.
San Diego earned their first power play when Eric Condra was whistled for slashing early in the third period. It took just 11 seconds from the ensuing faceoff for the Gulls open the scoring and take a 1-0 lead with their first power play goal in seven games. Gulls defenseman Brendan Guhle took the puck deep in the Eagles zone and passed it to Corey Tropp in the slot. Tropp fired a quick wrist shot far-side, beating Colorado goaltender Hunter Miska for his first goal of the season 1:06 into the second period.
The power-play score marked the 12th of the Gulls season and the club’s first since Nov. 16. In his first game back since being reassigned to San Diego, Guhle earned the primary assist on the play, extending his point streak to four games (1-4=5). Also picking up an assist was Daniel Sprong who now co-leads San Diego in scoring (5-11=16) and paces the club in assists.
Colorado evened the score after an unfortunate bounce ended up in the back of the net at the 12:32 mark of the second frame. A loose puck bounced into the Gulls zone and Eagles center Jayson Megna beat both defensemen to the puck. Boyle left his crease and dove to poke check the puck away from Megna, but the puck bounced off a San Diego defender and wound up in the Gulls net.
After two periods, each team scored a goal, but the score remained a tie in an evenly matched, defense-first style of game. Kevin Boyle made a couple of late period saves to keep the score tied as Colorado continued to lead in in shots 25-22.
Late in the third period, Justin Kloos went around both Eagles defensemen and around the net before passing it to a wide-open Max Jones. From the slot, Jones fired a shot, but the shot hit a defenseman and bounced wide. Each team had several other late scoring chances, but the goaltenders made some incredible save and forced the game to overtime with a score still tied at one goal apiece.
Both clubs looked to control possession in the overtime session, putting a heavy emphasis on maintaining the puck. Although there were several strong scoring opportunities, the five-minutes wasn’t enough to settle the contest as the game moved to a shootout.
Boyle stopped each of Colorado’s two scoring chances in the Gulls first shootout of the season. Miska got a stick on Daniel Sprong’s chance in the first round of the shootout, but Alex Broadhurst and Justin Kloos each capitalized on their shootout attempts, with the latter scoring the game-deciding goal to open the third round.
“It’s huge. To come in here on back-to-back nights and get the win on the first night, it gives us a little momentum going into tomorrow,” said Boyle. “Hopefully we can just come out and take it to them tomorrow and come back with four points.”
The two clubs will conclude the back-to-back tomorrow evening at Budweiser Events Center (6:05 p.m. PT).