PREVIEW: Gulls vs. Barracuda

PREVIEW: Gulls vs. Barracuda

Jan 4, 2019

The Gulls open their 2019 calendar year home schedule with a nine-game point streak and four straight wins on the line as they host the San Jose Barracuda tonight at Pechanga Arena San Diego (7 p.m., Radio: Mighty 1090). San Diego enters tonight with points in a season-high nine consecutive games (7-0-0-2), the longest current point streak in the AHL, in addition to four straight wins at home.

San Diego and San Jose hit the midway point of a 10-game season series tonight at Pechanga Arena San Diego. The Gulls have won three straight games over San Jose and have posted a 3-1-0-0 record against the Barracuda this season. In the three straight wins, the Gulls have outscored the Barracuda by a 15-5 margin. All time, the Gulls have a 20-11-2-1 record, including 13-3-1-1 at home.

This season, Gulls netminder Kevin Boyle has won each of San Diego’s three straight wins over San Jose, posting a 1.62 GAA and a .943 SV%. In addition to Boyle’s strong play against the Barracuda, the undrafted goaltender tied a career-high with six consecutive wins two nights ago, posting a 1.97 GAA and .930 SV% over that span. In his sixth and most recent win, he stopped 33-of-34 shots for the team’s fifth win in six games against the Bakersfield Condors this season.

“He came in ready to play at the beginning of the year, you could see it from day one,” said Joe Blandisi of teammate Kevin Boyle. “He has been strong the whole way. Knowing that we have him back there, it definitely makes it easier to play up front.”

In San Diego’s last win, their ninth straight game with a point, saw Blandisi scored the game-winning goal with 1:10 left in regulation. Forward Matt Berry recorded the game’s first goal and assisted on the game-winner for his second career multi-point game, while veterans Adam Cracknell and Luke Schenn each added assists.

The Anaheim Ducks organization recently made multiple roster moves, trading goaltender Jared Coreau to St. Louis and acquiring left-winger Jared Thomas from San Antonio, both trades were in exchange for future considerations. Thomas spent four seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, helping his team win the 2018 NCAA National Championship, but the first-year forward will remain with the Tulsa Oilers of the ECHL.

In addition to the two trades, Troy Terry was named to the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield, taking place in Massachusetts at the end of this month. It will mark Terry’s first career All-Star appearance. Terry co-leads all AHL rookies in scoring (12-19=31), assists and game-winning goals (3), and ranks second in points-per game (1.15), while he also leads San Diego in points, assists, power-play points (3-11=14) and ranks second in goals.

Terry will be joined by several players and the head coach of tonight’s opponent, the San Jose Barracuda. San Jose will have forward Francis Perron, defenseman Jacob Middleton, goaltender Josef Kornar and head coach Roy Sommer representing them at the event.

The Barracuda have won four of their previous six games on the road, but their two losses have come in San Diego against the Gulls. Over the two home games that the Gulls have hosted the Barracuda, San Diego has outscored San Jose 10-4, in addition to three straight wins overall against the Barracuda that have seen a 15-5 goal difference for San Diego.

The Gulls have posted a 10-5-1-1 record (22 points) on home ice this season, the best home start in club history through 17 home games with 22 points and 10 wins (also 2017-18). The Gulls currently have a season-high four straight wins and points in 12 of the last 16 home games (10-4-1-1, 22 points).

With 60 goals through the first 17 home games this season, the Gulls have their highest goal total through 17 home games in club history, one more than the 57 in 2016-17. In 44 home contests during the 2018 calendar year, the Gulls posted a 23-16-2-2 record (.581%). San Diego had a seven-game home point streak from Oct. 19-Nov. 16 (5-0-1-1), tied for the second longest such streak in club history. Dating to last season, San Diego has earned points in 23 of their last 32 home games (20-9-2-1) and are 26-13-2-1 the last 40 at home dating to the 2017-18 season.

Tonight will mark the lone home game until the middle of the month as the team will hit the road for a four-game road trip, their longest to date this season. Beginning Sunday, Jan. 6 at Ontario (3 p.m.), the road trip will also see the Gulls visit Stockton (Jan. 9), Milwaukee (Jan. 12) and Iowa (Jan. 14).

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