Gulls Win Sixth Straight in 4-1 Rout at OntarioJan 6, 2019
The Gulls won their sixth straight game and extended their standings point streak to an AHL high 11 games with a 4-1 win over the Ontario Reign today at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
The Gulls (17-11-1-3) now have recorded a season-high 11 consecutive games with a point (9-0-0-2, 20 of a possible 22 points). The win and point streaks at six and 11 games respectively are both the longest current such streaks in the AHL. The Gulls have also won a season-high four straight road games, also an AHL high, and have points in six straight contests on the road (4-0-0-2).
San Diego’s 11-game point streak is tied for the second longest in club history (also Feb. 19-Mar. 16, 2016; 9-0-1-1) and one win shy of the franchise record 12 consecutive games without a regulation loss from Jan. 7-Feb. 7, 2017 (11-0-0-1).
"We’ve had a good run of hockey here and we’re winning games in different ways," said Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins, who hit a major milestone tonight. "We’ve come out strong early in the season and couldn’t hang on to it. We’re still just in that whole process of implementing a plan that includes the full 60 minutes."
With the win, Eakins now has 135 victories behind the bench for San Diego to tie Kevin Dineen (135) for the most wins by a head coach of an Anaheim Ducks primary affiliate. Eakins and the Gulls have a 135-82-11-8 record, good for 289 points in 236 games (.612%) dating to 2015. San Diego leads the Pacific Division in all-time wins and points since its inception in 2015.
The loss for Ontario (10-16-3-2) was their fifth consecutive as they fell to 1-8-1-0 their last 10 contests.
Troy Terry (1G/1A), Sam Carrick (1G/1A), Sam Steel (1G/1A) and Matt Berry (2A) each recorded multi-point games while Kevin Boyle stopped 30-of-31 shots to win his eighth straight game and 13th victory this season (13-5-0).
During his career-best and club record eight-game win streak, Boyle has posted a 1.98 goals-against average and .931 save percentage, stopping 217-of-233 shots during the span.
The opening frame nearly ended scoreless, but Terry stole the puck from an unaware Reign defenseman and turned the play into a goal with 33 seconds left in the period. After taking the puck, Terry showcased his patience with the puck and waited for linemate Steel to get into position for a pass that would result in Steel’s seventh goal of the season.
"We found each other well tonight and last game," said Steel following the game on playing with Terry and Joseph Blandisi. "We just have to look to keep that up, but it’s fun playing with those two guys. We’re all guys that want the puck and want to make plays. We’re not afraid to work either. We’ve been complimenting each other nicely so there’s no complaints.
The Gulls didn’t wait long to add to their lead as Jones blasted a one-timer past Ontario goaltender Peter Budaj just 24 seconds into the second period. Jones began the play by racing down the ice to erase an icing call against and fought off a Reign defender to retain possession of the puck. Jones dropped the puck to Carrick who gave it right back to Jones for his 11th goal of the season.
The Gulls had several chances to make it a three-goal game as they drew two slashing minors and were given 94 seconds of a 5-on-3 power play, but Budaj kept the two-man advantage and follow power play off the board.
At the 15:34 mark of the second period, Mike Amadio capitalized on a rebound attempt on the power play and put the puck past Boyle on a second attempt for his first goal in six games this season. The initial shot on net came from Matt Moulson, giving him his 15th assist of the season.
After taking the puck from the San Diego zone, Carrick created an odd-man rush down the ice before passing to Jones who tried another one-timer. This time the puck did not go directly in, but Carrick cleaned up the rebound and retook the two-goal lead. With a goal and an assist in the game, Carrick tied Kevin Roy for fourth on the Gulls all-time points list (83).
After recording an assist on the previous Jones goal, Berry picked up his second helper of the game on the play for his 10th point (2G/8A) in his last eight games played. Carrick’s goal marked his 31st point this season (17G/13A) and ninth multi-point game this season.
With Ontario taking another slashing minor, Terry took all of 10 seconds to find the back of the net on the San Diego’s fifth power play chance, beating Budaj glove-side. The score, at 13:39 of the final period, marked the 31st power play goal for the Gulls this season, good for first in the division.
With a goal and an assist, Terry took sole possession of first place in points and assists among rookies (15-20=35). In addition, his 35 points move him into a tie for ninth place among all AHL skaters, while playing in the same or fewer games than everyone above him in the rankings.
Trevor Murphy added the primary assist on the goal, giving him a point in four of his five games played with San Diego. Steel added an assist for his second point of the night and his fourth multi-point game of the season.
The Gulls dominated the third period both offensively and defensively, outshooting the Reign 16-2. The two shots allowed in the final frame marked the fewest shots allowed in any period this season, beating the previous record of three, set on four different occasions.
"We want to come out in games and score first. We want to also be a team that if we get behind, we can come from behind," added Eakins. "Before we went out for the third, we went through it again. How we want to play in the third period with a lead and giving up only two shots against and getting some for, there’s no better way to defend a lead."
The Gulls will continue the four-game road trip on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at Stockton and conclude the trip in the Midwest with visits to Milwaukee (Jan. 12) and Iowa (Jan. 14).