PREVIEW: Gulls at RampageJan 25, 2019
Tonight will begin the final two games leading into the AHL's All-Star break with the Gulls boasting an AHL season best 10-game road point streak. The Gulls (21-12-2-3) enter the penultimate contest of their three-game road trip and open a back-to-back matchup beginning with the San Antonio Rampage at the AT&T Center (5:30 p.m. PT, Radio: Mighty 1090). Tonight will mark the first time this season that the Gulls will face their former division rivals since the team moved to the Central Division during last offseason.
Following their first regulation loss in 42 days, the Gulls got back on track and beat the Ontario Reign 4-1 for the club’s first ever televised road game. During the game Sam Carrick took the team lead in scoring (20-18=38) with an assist, surpassing Brandon Montour (89) for third in all-time points and Kevin Roy (53) for fifth in all-time assists. Also, Kiefer Sherwood earned his first career AHL assist and Justin Kloos collected his first assist for San Diego in his Gulls debut today.
The win also extended San Diego’s road standings point streak to 10 games (7-0-1-2) dating to Dec. 14, setting the longest road point streak in the AHL this season. San Diego has also collected standings points in 16 of their last 17 games (13-1-1-2) and wins in 10 of 12 (10-1-1-0). On the road, the Gulls have posted a 9-6-1-2 record, good for 21 points, while ranking fifth in the league in fewest goals allowed (61).
In the first of two meetings this season, the Gulls will enter the contest with a 12-2-0-0 record all-time vs. the Rampage and a 6-1-0-0 mark at AT&T Center. The Rampage (21-21-1-0) enter the weekend with a three-game losing streak after going 6-1 in a seven-game stretch prior to their slump. San Antonio sits at sixth place in the Central Division and six points outside of a playoff spot. But what stands out above all is their success on home ice.
The Rampage have won a league high 11 straight at the AT&T Center, and 15 of their last 16 at home. Like the Gulls, they’ve dealt with varying lineups nightly due toeither injuries or call-ups from parent club St. Louis.
"It's not about them, it's about us," said defenseman Keaton Thompson. "If we do the right things it's going to work for us. It's been proven in the past. We have to execute, and clean up a couple plays through the neutral zone, but overall we've been pretty dialed in."
"This part of the season you want to start busting games out, continue to streak and just keep it rolling."
Yesterday, the Anaheim Ducks announced eight roster moves that will likely result in a very different looking lineup from last game. Anaheim recalled defensemen Korbinian Holzer and Jake Dotchin from the Gulls. In addition, the parent club reassigned several players to San Diego including rookie standouts Troy Terry and Max Jones, top scorer Sam Carrick and defensemen Andy Welinski, Jacob Larsson and Andrej Sustr.
“There’s been guys in and out of the lineup, guys up and down,” said head coach Dallas Eakins regarding the lineup changes throughout the season. “We’ve just taken that approach that it doesn’t matter who is in and who is out. We have a standard that we want to uphold here. We’ve got high-character guys that are able to do that.”
In addition to the roster moves, netminder Kevin Boyle was named to the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield. Boyle has posted a 16-6-1 record with a 2.84 goals-against average (GAA) and .909 save percentage (SV%) in 26 games this season. In addition, he is tied for second in the AHL in victories this season, including a personal best and club record 10-game winning streak from Dec. 15 to Jan. 12. The 26-year-old from Manalapan, New Jersey is the first goaltender to ever represent the Gulls as an AHL All-Star.
Boyle will be joined by fellow All-Star Jordan Kyrou from the San Antonio Rampage. Despite playing in only 26 of 43 games with San Antonio this season, Kyrou co-leads the Rampage in scoring (11-14=25), while also leading the team in goals and plus/minus (+14). Other than Kyrou, the Rampage have lacked big time scoring players, a big reason why the team ranks 27th in the league with 113 goals scored.
A familiar face in the lineup for Ssan Antonio is former Gulls goaltender Jared Coreau who was traded to the Rampage on Jan. 3. after appearing in 13 games with San Diego. Ironically, his last bit of action was on Dec. 14 when the Gulls turned their season around. Coreau (7-10-3) is 4-4-0 since joining the Rampage, but has won each of his four home contests.
"I think Kevin Boyle was getting into his groove and I was getting into mine. He was getting some wins so the coach was riding him,” said Coreau via an interview on the Rampage website. “I wanted to get in the net, but when you’re a team in the bottom half of the division you have to get the wins and it doesn’t matter who’s doing it. So I understood.”
“It was a good group of guys there and I made good friends."