Game 6 Preview: Gulls at WolvesMay 27, 2019
For the first time this postseason the Gulls face a must-win situation tonight against the Chicago Wolves in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals at Allstate Arena (5 p.m. PT).
Facing a 3-2 series deficit, a win tonight will force a Game 7 on Wednesday in Chicago and chance to advance to their first-ever Calder Cup Finals to face the Charlotte Checkers. The Gulls have never participated in a Game 7 in their four-year history, and anything other than a victory tonight will see San Diego’s run end.
Chicago won the most recent Game 5 by a 5-2 score at Pechanga Arena with the Wolves also sealing a 2-1 double overtime win one night prior. San Diego won one of its three home games, a 3-2 Game 3 victory.
“Obviously, a couple of the goals tonight were crazy. One goes off our guy’s face right onto their stick and another one is just a very fluke play where we’re looking to keep control of the puck and it ends up back in our own net,” said head coach Dallas Eakins on the Game 5 defeat. “We’ll shake it off. These games are tight. Every one of them is going to be tight. The good thing for our team is we’ve been good on the road in these playoffs. We’ll look forward to going into Chicago, again.”
An unfortunate outcome for San Diego results in a do or die situation. The Gulls have not faced elimination in the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs, and have posted a 4-4 record in elimination games all-time, including 1-2 on the road. Tonight also marks the second ever Game 6 in club history, with the lone previous such contest a series-clinching win last round over the Bakersfield Condors in the Pacific Division Finals.
“This isn’t the position we wanted to be in leaving three games at home, but that’s where we’re at. We have to embrace the opportunity and move forward, not dwell on this one. Hopefully, we’ll be playing two games by the end of this week.”
Kevin Boyle has walked away with a win in three of his last five starts in the postseason, posting a 1.55 GAA and .943 SV%. Boyle earned his first career playoff shutout and the second in Gulls postseason history in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on May 18 at Chicago (3-0 win, 29 saves). Regardless of the goaltending situation, Dallas Eakins remains confident.
I know their coach well. I’m sure the game plan is to take the contact right to the edge, without taking a penalty,” added Eakins following Game 3. “He was getting bumped a lot down there tonight. I thought he handled that well. We have the greatest confidence in Kevin and Jeff Glass. They’re both a big part of us being here today. It’s not lost on our staff, management or players how well both of these guys have done.”