Cracknell Ties Game Late to Save Point Streak, Gulls Fall 3-2 in OTJan 14, 2019
Adam Cracknell scored the game-tying goal with only two seconds left in regulation to force overtime and extend San Diego’s club record point streak to 14 games. The Gulls concluded a four-game road trip with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Iowa Wild tonight at Wells Fargo Arena. The overtime setback pushed San Diego’s club record point streak to 14 games (11-0-1-2) dating to Dec. 14, the longest point streak in the AHL this season, while it also pushed their road point streak to nine straight, tying Iowa for the top mark this season.
The Gulls completed their road trip with seven of a possible eight points that saw them away from home for nine days.
“I’d be really happy with eight but I thought we really did well on the trip,” said San Diego head coach Dallas Eakins. “It’s a lot of travel, some time zones, but I love that our guys don’t care. It doesn’t matter to them. They’re going to come out and work hard. We faced a very, very good hockey team here tonight. You knew early on that this was going to be a one-goal game.”
The opening frame saw no goals despite three power-play opportunities for the Wild, including 1:02 of a two-man advantage. The period ended in a scoreless tie, marking the 15th time this season that the Gulls have shut out opponents in the first 20 minutes. San Diego outshot Iowa 13-11 and was a perfect three-for-three on the penalty kill over the frame.
With 12:23 remaining in the second period, San Diego defenseman Simon Benoit shot the puck from the blue line before Matt Berry deflected the puck into the net. However, the referee waved off the goal, claiming that the puck was touched above the crossbar of the goal.
On the Gulls’ first power-play chance of the game, Iowa’s Kyle Rau intercepted the puck in his own zone and took it down the ice for a breakaway. With San Diego skaters close behind him, Rau shot the puck blocker-side and past Boyle to score the first goal of the game at the 11:16 mark of the second.
After playing a role in the takeaway leading to the goal, Justin Kloos was the recipient of the lone assist on the play. The assist marks Kloos’ seventh game with a point (2G/6A) over his last eight games played.
In the later half of the second period, San Diego was given a 5-on-3 chance as minor penalties were given to both Kloos (tripping) and Carson Soucy (roughing), both infranctions against Troy Terry on the same shift. The Gulls were unable to capitalize until there was just four seconds left in the two-man advantage but made it count. After cycling the puck for the majority of the power play, Trevor Murphy fired a slap shot from the point for an undeflected goal 15:27 into the middle frame. Murphy has recorded a point in five of his eight games (2G/3A) with San Diego since being traded from Tucson.
With an assist on the play, Joe Blandisi picked up his ninth point (3G/6A) in his last seven games . Ben Street added the other helper, extending his point and assist streaks to three games (0-3=3).
Iowa reclaimed the lead 8:43 into the third period as Rau added his second of the night and 10th of the season. After another turnover on the Gulls blueline, Rau led a 3-on-1, odd-man rush and shot the puck far-side for his second multi-goal game this season. Rookie Will Bitten registered the only assist on the score for his 10th point (2G/8A) of the season.
With time winding down the Gulls circled the puck in the offensive zone, attempting to create space for a game-tying opportunity. Chase De Leo retrieved a blocked shot and made a backhanded no-look pass to the slot. With just two seconds left in the game, Adam Cracknell found the puck and brought the score to a tie on a wrist shot from in front of the net. The goal forced overtime and continued San Diego’s 14-game point streak (11-0-1-2).
“Everyone was just all in, everything goes at that point of the game,” said De Leo regarding the late goal. “We were just trying to get it to the net. I took a look quickly before I got in the corner and saw (Adam Cracknell) on the far side there. Luckily it got through the seam and he buried it.”
De Leo picked up his 26th point (8G/18A) of the season with his highlight-reel pass to Cracknell. Rookie Josh Mahura added the other helper for his second consecutive game with a point since being reassigned to the Gulls, and his fifth in as many AHL games.
The game was decided 1:01 into the overtime as Rau picked up his third goal for his second career hat trick. Iowa’s Ryan Murphy took control of the puck and passed it to Rau for the breakout chance before he scored on a glove-side wrist shot.
Kevin Boyle stopped 23 shots in the overtime setback, ending his club record 10-game win streak from Dec. 15-Jan. 12 and five-game road win streak from Dec. 30-Jan. 12. Despite the setback, Boyle has backstopped San Diego to points in his last 11 starts (10-0-1).
The Gulls return to Pechanga Area San Diego and conclude their final homestand of the month on Wednesday, Jan. 16 vs. Texas (7 p.m.) and Saturday, Jan. 19 vs. Bakersfield (7 p.m.).