PREVIEW: Gulls vs. RampageFeb 23, 2019
The Gulls conclude a brief two-game homestand with a Saturday night matchup against the San Antonio Rampage at Pechanga Arena San Diego. San Diego is 12-3 all-time against San Antonio, including a 6-1 record at home.
The Gulls enter play Saturday with seven wins their last 11 games (7-3-1-0) and wins in 17 of their last 24 contests (17-5-2-0). San Diego has earned points in 24 of the last 29 games overall (20-5-2-2) and four of the last five (3-1-1-0). San Diego leads the AHL in goals-per game (3.64) while the 180 goals this season (excluding shootout goals) is the most through 50 games in club history.
The Gulls will look to build off the momentum it gained Wednesday night in a 5-2 win over the division rival Tucson Roadrunners, as the team’s balanced attack produced five different goal scorers in the victory. Jeff Glass made 34 saves to earn his fourth over seven consecutive starts. Glass also earned an assist, his second assist of the season and first as a Gull (Oct. 13, 2018 with Toronto vs. Utica). Glass became the fourth goaltender in Gulls history to record an assist and the first since Jhonas Enroth (Feb. 3, 2017 at Ontario).
“He’s been awesome. Every night he gives us a chance and [Wednesday night] I think he literally stood on his head for a couple saves,” said Chase De Leo. “He’s doing a great job back there and he gives the group in front of him a lot of confidence.”
Sam Carrick was one of the five Gulls to find the back of the net Wednesday, giving him 26 goals on the season, good for third among AHL scoring leaders. Carrick has already reached new career highs in scoring (26-21=47) and goals this season, surpassing his previous high of 41 points set last season in 67 games. Carrick became the first Gull in club history to reach the 25-goal mark on Feb. 18 at San Jose, with his previous high of 16 goals coming in 2015-16 with Toronto in 52 games.
The Gulls have matched the best start in club history on home ice through 24 games, posting a 15-7-1-1 record, good for 32 points. San Diego has scored 83 goals on home ice this season, matching a club record through 24 games (also 2016-17). The Gulls currently have won nine of their last 11 games at home and have earned points in 17 of their 24 home games this season.
“Playing in California, we’re fortunate to be able to live here during the hockey season and come to work everyday,” said De Leo. “It’s definitely good to be back home in front of our fans and back in San Diego.”
The Rampage visit San Diego currently tied for last in the Central Division, but just five points out a playoff spot with at least one game in hand on the teams ahead of them. San Antonio is coming off a 4-2 victory over the Ontario Reign last night to improve to 4-2-4-0 their last 10 games. The Rampage got out to an early 2-0 lead but gave up two quick, third period goals before Jordan Nolan scored with 89 seconds in regulation to end a three-game skid.
San Antonio has struggled offensively this season, currently ranking 29th in the AHL with 2.62 goals per game. Rookie Jordan Kyrou leads the team with 14-22=37 points in 36 games. Former Gull Jared Coreau has started 18 games for the Rampage since being acquired by the St. Louis Blues in a trade from the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 3, going 8-6-4 with a 2.95 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.
The Gulls hope to avenge a loss from last month to the Rampage, a 4-0 defeat in San Antonio on Jan. 25 that marked only the second time the Gulls have been shut out all season. Coreau earned the victory, stopping all 23 San Diego shots. Bobby MacIntyre scored twice for the Rampage.
Despite the January setback, San Diego is 12-3-0-0 all-time against San Antonio. Corey Tropp leads the Gulls in all-time scoring (5-5=10), goals, assists and plus/minus (+8) in 10 games against the Central Division club.