PREVIEW: Gulls vs. MooseNov 30, 2018
After dropping the first contest of a two-game series Wednesday night, the Gulls look to bounce back against the Manitoba Moose tonight at Valley View Casino Center (7:00 p.m., ESPN 1700).
Former Gull Logan Shaw scored his first career hat trick as the Moose prevailed 5-1 Wednesday night. After opening the season with points in six of its first seven home games, San Diego has now lost three consecutive home games.
“It’s an up-and-down season and there are always going to be highs and lows, like a roller coaster,” said Gulls forward Ben Thomson. “You just have to learn from the lows and not get too high when you’re high. We have to keep it even keel as much as we can and get the wins when we can get them.”
Luke Schenn scored his first career AHL goal to break Manitoba netminder Eric Comrie’s shutout bid with 18 seconds left. Despite the loss, San Diego ranks eighth among AHL leaders in goals-per game (3.69) and shots-per game (31.7). San Diego’s 58 goals through 16 games eclipses the previous high of 54 set in the 2016-17 season.
“Hats off to their goaltender. We had some unbelievably excellent chances once we got going, but it was too late,” said Eakins.
The Moose special teams powered the victory as the visitors scored three power-play goals and were 4-of-4 on the penalty kill. Without a power-play goal, the Gulls were held scoreless on the man advantage for just the third time this season. The Gulls power play ranks 6th in the AHL (23.9%, 17-71).
The Gulls will be focused on keeping their former teammate Shaw off the scoreboard Friday. Shaw scored three power-play goals in the first game of the two game set in America’s Finest City. Shaw had two previous stints with the Gulls, signing a one-year AHL deal this summer and recording 2-3=5 points in seven games before signing with the Jets.
“[Shaw] is a great man. We were happy to him to go and get on an NHL contract with the Winnipeg Jets,” said Eakins. “You always wish those guys, those good guys, those good characters guys, the guys that have come in and worked so hard for you to have success. I just wish they would do it somewhere else.”
After the loss, San Diego will look for a strong bounce-back performance Friday, much like they did a week ago against the Stockton Heat. After falling to the Heat 6-5 on Nov. 23, the Gulls rebounded with a 6-3 win two days later led by a career-night from Sam Carrick. Carrick set multiple career marks, scoring a natural hat trick (his first career hat trick) as well as picking up two assists to set a single-game club record with five points.
“We are confident with the group that we have right now and we are a lot better than we showed [Wednesday],” said Thomson. “You’re going to see a good bounce back game here on Friday.”