Furious Comeback Falls Short in StocktonOct 12, 2019
The Gulls’ third period come back fell short as they dropped a 5-3 decision to the Stockton Heat tonight at Stockton Arena to conclude a season-opening three-game road trip. Kiefer Sherwood recorded a goal and assist to mark his first multi-point game of the season, with Jack Kopacka and Andrew Poturlaski each notching their first goals of 2018-19. Kevin Boyle stopped 27-of-31 shots in his season debut.
San Diego didn’t waste time getting their night started, with Sherwood scoring 3:13 into the contest. Chase De Leo stripped the puck from Stockton defenseman Alexander Yelesin in their own zone, creating a two-on-one opportunity. De Leo found Sherwood in the slot and his quick wrist shot beat Heat netminder Artyom Zagidulin on the glove side for the first goal of the game.
With the goal, Sherwood extended his point streak to three games (2-1=3), tying his second longest AHL scoring streak. His longest point streak is five games, set from Feb. 20-Mar. 6, 2019 (1-4=5). De Leo earned his first point of the season with an assist after leading the club in that category last season with 35. Simon Benoit was credited with the secondary, his first point of the campaign.
Stockton would quickly get back into the game and tally four unanswered goals. Shortly after, Justin Kloos was sent to the penalty box for tripping followed by a holding penalty whistled on defenseman Jani Hakanpaa to give the Heat a 5-on-3 power play for 1:22. Stockton’s Glenn Gawdin took a cross-ice pass from Dillon Dube and shot it on net. The puck snuck past Gulls netminder Kevin Boyle and the score was evened at one goal apiece at the 7:22 mark of the first period. Byron Froese recorded the secondary assist on the power-play goal.
Stockton took the lead 9:42 into the second frame after Brandon Davidson point shot snapped his stick, but the puck directed to Ryan Lomberg whose shot snuck past Boyle. Eetu Tuulola also picked up an assist on the goal.
Davidson tallied a goal at the 9:40 mark of the third period when his point shot bounced off the wall behind the Gulls net to deflect off Boyle and into the net for an unassisted goal. Tuulola extended the lead to 4-1 with a one-time from the slot. Lomberg and Froese each received an assist on the play.
San Diego battled back with Kopacka and Poturlaski scoring goals in a span of 57 seconds. Kopacka scored the first goal of the two by stealing a fumbled puck in the Stockton zone and firing a backhand effort past Zagidulin with 5:26 remaining in regulation forhis first goal of the season.
San Diego would make a game of it when Sam Carrick fired a shot wide that Sherwood took off the back wall and found Poturalski behind the net. The 25-year old forward snuck around the net and tucked it behind the goal line before Zagidulin could regain position to mark his first goal in a Gulls sweater and cut the lead to 4-3 with 4:29 remaining in the contest.
The comeback was put to a halt when Buddy Robinson stole the puck and scored an empty net goal to bring the score to 5-3 with 52 seconds remaining. The Gulls would fall by a 5-3 final to close out the three-game trek that saw San Diego visit three Pacific Division buildings holding their respective home openers.
Kevin Boyle stopped 27-of-31 shots in his season debut, while Alex Broadhurst and Andreas Martinsen made their Gulls debuts.
The Gulls will return home to San Diego for their home opener Friday, Oct. 18 at Pechanga Arena San Diego (7 p.m. PT).