Gulls Win 5-2 to Set Club Record 13-Game Point StreakJan 12, 2019
San Diego’s picked up their eighth straight win in a 5-2 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals tonight at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. The Gulls kept rolling and set a new franchise record with 13 consecutive games with a point (11-0-0-2). San Diego’s eight game win streak is the longest in the AHL this season while the 13-game point streak is tied with Syracuse for the longest in the league this season.
Kevin Boyle stopped 21-of-23 shots to extend his club record win streak to 10 games. Dating to Dec. 15, Boyle has posted a 2.19 goals-against average (GAA) and .923 save percentage (SV%) during the 10 games. Boyle improved to 15-5-0 this season and ranks third among AHL leaders in wins. He has also won five consecutive road games dating to Dec. 30, posting a 1.80 GAA and .941 SV%, allowing nine goals over the five contests.
“He made some critical saves there tonight for us. That’s what you need,” said San Diego head coach Dallas Eakins regarding Kevin Boyle. “You need that from Kevin and (Jeff Glass) when he’s in there. It’s just great to see Kevin really get his feet underneath him. I know he’s still trying to get better each and every day which is excellent. This is a young man that has put a lot of effort into his development and here we are now and it looks like he’s really breaking out.”
The Admirals got on the scoreboard early as Connor Brickley tapped the puck to Colin Blackwell who split the Gulls defenseman for an early breakaway chance. Blackwell faked a backhand shot before taking back to the forehand and shooting it past Gulls netminder Kevin Boyle 2:21 into the first period. Blackwell’s goal marks his first since missing 17 games due to an injury sustained on November 23.
The Gulls took all of 15 seconds to answer with a score of their own and tie things at one goal each. Simon Benoit made a breakout pass through the neutral zone right to Troy Terry for a two-on-one chance with Sam Steel. Steel took the initial shot, but the puck went wide of the net and bounced behind the boards and back to Terry for an open net chance. Terry capitalized on the fortunate bounce for his 16th goal continuing his dominant season.
Terry has recorded at least a point in 13 of his last 14 games, totalling 8-10=18 points over that span. In addition, the rookie forward has picked up a point in 26 of his 31 games and leads all rookies in scoring with 16-21=37 points.
With just under five minutes left to play, Brickley was fed a pass down the ice for his own breakaway opportunity. However, former Admiral Trevor Murphy was right behind him to give him a stick lift and disrupt the play while Boyle made the easy save.
San Diego goal-scoring leader Sam Carrick added his 20th tally of the season, giving the Gulls their first lead of the game with 3:55 left in the opening frame. Carrick created a turnover in the San Diego zone to start the play and rookie Josh Mahura took the puck and rushed to the other end of the ice. Mahura got the puck back to Carrick who shot the puck far-side and past Milwaukee goaltender Tom McCollum. Max Jones picked up his 12th assist of the season on the play.
“Sammy has been excellent all year, Jonesy played a big game tonight, but we were able to really rely on all four of our lines for some good o-zone time,” added Eakins. “I think teams that play well and don’t give up a lot of goals, a lot of people point to their d-zone coverage. It’s usually not that. It’s usually that you’re playing in the offensive zone a lot and that’s what we’re looking at our team now and it’s something that we’re trying to improve on.”
Carrick’s 20th gave him sole possession of third place in goals in the AHL. What’s more impressive is that Carrick trails the AHL’s leader in goals, Chris Terry of the Grand Rapids, by only three goals despite playing in 10 fewer games.
With Jones in the penalty box for slashing, Blackwell scored his second goal of the game and sixth of the season, bringing the game back to a tie at the 9:13 mark of the middle period. Three of Blackwell’s six goals this season have come on the power play.
Once again, the Gulls answered quickly, this time just 16 seconds after the Milwaukee score. After dumping the puck in the Admiral’s zone, Jones got the puck on a forecheck and fought off a defender to put the puck in the slot. Matt Berry capitalized on the play and shot the puck past McCollum for his third goal of the season and the Gulls third score of the game. Berry’s goal would end up as the game-winner, marking his first of the season and second overall.
San Diego began to run away with it as Adam Cracknell scored his sixth goal of the season 12:45 into the second. Forward Ben Street worked the puck to Luke Schenn in the offensive zone who unloaded a wrist shot on the Milwaukee net. The puck bounced off of McCollum and into the air before Cracknell batted it past his glove for his third goal in his last four games with the Gulls.
The Gulls added third goal over the span of 4:52 as Jones scored on a rebound attempt. San Diego captain Jaycob Megna shot the puck at the net while both Carrick and Jones both attempted to clean up the rebound. Jones would be the last to touch the puck for his second goal and fifth point over the past three games.
Jones tied a career high with three points (1-2=3) for his third multi-assist and eighth multi-point effort of the season. Jones matched his 1-2=3 points on Dec. 30 at San Jose and has scored 4-5=9 points his last seven contests.
“I felt good. I think the start of the game was a little slow, but I felt really good in warmups so I wasn’t too worried about it,” said Gulls Jones. “Sam Carrick played a really good game and so did Matt Berry. The puck was just moving around really well, we were making the simple plays and it ended up in the back of the net so as long as we keep doing that, I think we’ll be really successful.”
The Gulls also won a club record sixth straight road game and have points in eight straight road contests (6-0-0-2).Entering the second half of the season (games 35-68), the Gulls lead the Western Conference and rank second among AHL teams with a 64-30-6-2 record (.667 points percentage).
San Diego will begin the second half of their schedule and conclude the four-game road trip on Monday, Jan. 14 at Iowa (5 p.m. PT).