PREVIEW: Gulls at ReignJan 21, 2019
It was 42 days between regulations losses and a 15-game, 36-day standings point streak that vaulted the Gulls (20-12-2-3) from last in the AHL to seventh in the standings. Today, the Gulls will look to get back to the stretch that saw them turn their season around as they take on the Ontario Reign at Citizens Business Bank Arena (3 p.m. PT, TV: FOX 5 San Diego, Radio: Mighty 1090). Today’s game will be the first road game to be televised in club history. The game marks the first of a three-game road series for the Gulls before the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Gulls club record 15-game standings point streak came to an end following a 6-2 defeat to the Bakersfield Condors at Pechanga Arena San Diego just two nights ago with the club having not fallen in regulation since Dec. 8 at Colorado.
In the setback to the Condors, Adam Cracknell scored a goal for the fifth straight game to set a five-game goal streak (5-4=9). It’s tied for the longest current goal streak in the AHL and also tied a Gulls club record previously set by Sam Carrick (Dec. 15-27; 6- 2=8) and Brandon Montour (Dec. 26, 2016-Jan. 16, 2017; 6-4=10).
The game also saw Jake Dotchin score his first goal as a Gull, while Kevin Boyle stopped 34 shots in the setback, his first regulation defeat in his last 13 games (11-1-1). The day was bound to come as no streak lives for a season, but it is something to be embraced within the room.
“We should be very proud of it. That’s an extremely hard thing to pull off,” said head coach Dallas Eakins. “We did it on a day-to-day basis. We fully understand that this day would come. That doesn’t mean we’re going to accept it and just blow it off. We have some things that we have to clean up with this group so that we can be successful on Monday.”
As always with Eakins, it’s time to turn the page as the team looks to bounce back to form as fans can tune in to FOX 5 San Diego to watch the first ever televised Gulls road game. In additon, the team still owns the longest active road point streak in the AHL at nine games (6-0-1-2) dating to Dec. 14, tied with Iowa for the longest in the AHL this season.
“It’s a battle every night we play those guys,” said Gulls captain Jaycob Megna on what to expect from Ontario. “It’s got a playoff atmosphere. It’s another good test for us. We’re right back at it here.”
The matchup against the Reign is the seventh of a 12-game season series and the fifth contest at Citizens Business Bank Arena. All time, the Gulls have earned a 24-15-1-2 record vs. the Reign, as well as a 14-6-0-2 record at Ontario. The Gulls have earned points in three straight meetings with the Reign: a 4-1 win on Jan. 6 at Ontario, a 7-6 shootout loss Dec. 22 at Ontario and a 5-3 win Dec. 21 at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
Ontario (12-8-4-2) enters today’s contest last in the AHL in wins, points and points percentage (.417%) having posted a 2-7-1-0 record their last 10 contests. The Reign return from a two-game trip to Iowa over the weekend where the posted a 6-5 win followed by a 4-2 defeat to the Wild. Veteran forward Matt Moulson leads the Reign in scoring (14-17=31) and goals, while rookie winger Sheldon Rempal paces the club with 18 assists. After spending a long stint in the NHL with Los Angeles, Cal Petersen is back in Ontario and has posted a 4-7-3 record with a 3.66 GAA and .895 SV% in 16 appearances. Peter Budaj also shares the net, having gone 3-8-3 in 14 games with a 4.48 GAA and .870 SV%.