PREVIEW: Gulls vs. ReignJan 31, 2019
The Gulls open their February schedule with a three-game homestand beginning tonight against the Ontario Reign at Pechanga Arena San Diego (7 p.m. PT, Radio: Mighty 1090). The Gulls enter tonight’s matchup with points in 17 of their last 19 games (14-2-1-2) and wins in 11 of 14 (11-2-1-0).
The Gulls return to action following the AHL All-Star break coming off a 4-1 win over the Texas Stars on Jan. 26 at H-E-B Center. Ben Street recorded his first multi-point game as a Gull (2-1=3), netting his first two goals and earning his fifth assist of the campaign. The multi-point effort marked the 103rd of his AHL career (21st multi-goal game). Jack Kopacka scored his second goal of the season in just his second game since returning from an injury that forced him to miss 35 consecutive games, while Corey Tropp netted his 10th of the season.
In their matchup against Texas, Gulls netminder Kevin Boyle continued his strong performance this season by stopping 24-of-25 shots to earn his 17th win of the season. The victory moved him into a tie for second among AHL goaltenders in wins. The 26-year-old’s recent success was rewarded this past weekend as he was represented San Diego at the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic in Springfield, Mass. Boyle’s All-Star nod marked the first time that a goaltender represented the Gulls in the event.
The Gulls and Reign meet for the eighth game of a 12-game season series tonight, but just the third contest at Pechanga Arena San Diego. The Gulls currently own a 4-2-0-1 record in seven previous matchups this season and have earned points in four straight meetings: a pair of 4-1 wins on Jan. 6 and 21 at Ontario, a 7-6 shootout loss Dec. 22 at Ontario and a 5-3 win Dec. 21 at Pechanga Arena San Diego. All time, the Gulls have earned a 25-15-1-2 record vs. the Reign, in addition to an 11-8-1-0 mark on home ice (14-7-0-2 record at Ontario).
This season has not gone the way that Ontario had hoped as the team sits dead last in the AHL with 13 wins and 32 points. Although the Reign rank near the bottom in goals scored this season (119), they have had a decent power play, capitalizing on 19.5% of their chances.
Rookie Sheldon Rempal currently leads Ontario in assists (19), ranks second in points (30) and is tied for second in goals (11). After Rempal picked up 6-9=15 points over his first 10 games with the club, the undrafted forward earned an AHL All-Star nod and joined a San Diego Gull during the event.
Forward Sam Carrick has had a tremendous season so far, leading the Gulls in points (20-18=38), goals, power-play goals (5) and shorthanded goals (3). Five of Carrick’s 20 goals this season have come against Ontario. One more goal for the forward would put him in a four-way tie for the club’s single-season record for goals (21) and would move him into a tie for third on the all-time goal list (37).
Tonight, the Gulls honor their parent team and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Anaheim Ducks in the National Hockey League. Former Ducks goaltender Guy Hebert will be in attendance to support the San Diego Gulls and will also be available for meet and greets during the first intermission.
Hebert was the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim’s first pick in the 1993 NHL Expansion Draft. In the organization’s inaugural season, Hebert served as the primary goaltender and stayed with the team for eight total years. Hebert still leads the Anaheim franchise in all-time saves (11,813), while ranking second in wins (173), games played (441) and shutouts (27).