Gulls Fall 6-3 to Ontario on Home IceFeb 6, 2019
The Gulls fell to the Ontario Reign 6-3 tonight at Pechanga Arena San Diego. Despite the setback, San Diego has wins in 13 of their last 17 games (13-3-1-0) and points in 19 of 22 (16-3-1-2).
“We can’t just come into a game and expect good things to happen. We have to earn it every night and tonight was a good wake up call,” said Gulls forward Sam Carrick. “Maybe we got too complacent, things have been going good lately. We need to get back to work here and tighten things up.”
Carl Grundstrom opened the scoring for the Reign with a breakaway goal at the midpoint of the first period. Philippe Maillet spotted Grundstrom behind the Gulls defense and a quick stretch pass sent his linemate in alone on Boyle. Grundstrom beat the San Diego netminder over the blocker at the 10:15 mark of the first period for his first goal since being acquired by the Los Angeles Kings in a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 28.
About a minute later, after Boyle made a one-on-one save, Justin Kloos took the the puck into Ontario’s zone and found Kiefer Sherwood on a cross-ice pass. Sherwood immediately redirected the pass to the net and slid it past Petersen to get the Gulls on the board 11:29 into the opening frame. The goal marks Sherwood’s first goal with San Diego this season, while Kloos extended his point and assist streaks to three games (0-4=4).
Carrick didn’t waste much time taking the lead and making Gulls history while doing so. With his 22nd tally of the season, Carrick broke the club’s single-season goal record just five days after tying it in a 6-1 win over the same Ontario team. The previous record of 21 goals had been set three times by Kalle Kossila (2017-18), Corey Tropp (2016-17) and Antoine Laganiere (2016-17). In addition, Carrick moved into a three-way tie for third in all-time goals for the club (38).
“Sam came out of training camp highly motivated and he’s been excellent on a nightly basis,” said Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins. “He’s a real good leader for us. He lives his life right away from the rink. He comes in and puts in the work every day. He’s not a real flashy guy but he gets in done through playing on the inside and being committed. It’s a privilege to coach a guy like that and we’re very proud of his success.”
Berry created the play by fighting off a Reign defender and throwing the puck to Carrick in the slot, who beat Petersen over his right shoulder with 7:06 remaining in the period. With the primary assist, Berry now has 1-5=6 points over his six games against Ontario this season.
Over the following 46 seconds, the Reign would score two quick goals to even the score and take the lead. The first was a deflected shot by Jamie Devane, putting the puck past Boyle to pull the Reign even. Austin Strand wristed a shot from the left point and Devane redirected it for his first goal in 2018-19.
The next goal was a product of Matt Moulson, who capped off a five-goal scoring frenzy in just 3:26 of game time, returning the lead to Ontario. After a turnover in the Gulls defensive zone, the puck bounced in front of the net where Moulson slid it past a diving Boyle. With the goal, Moulson (5-3=8) has found the back of the net in six of his eight games played against the Gulls in 2018-19.
Following a failed clear attempt, Ontario’s Matt Roy intercepted the puck and fired a slap shot from the point. Kyle Bauman was waiting in front of the net and redirected it into the back of the net for his second point of the night (1G, 1A) with 4:25 remaining in the middle frame.
Ontario extended its lead to three early in the third period. After a prolonged shift on the attack, the Gulls tried to finish a line change, but a turnover created an odd-man rush for the Reign. Maillet set up Grundstrom right in front of the net and the winger backhanded it over Boyle’s glove for his second goal of the night, putting the Reign ahead 5-2 with 14:57 left in the third period.
San Diego answered 31 seconds later as Troy Terry took the puck out of the San Diego zone and down to the other end of the rink. With Kossila rushing down the ice, the Gulls gave themselves a two-on-one rush. Terry put the puck between two Reign skaters and right to Kossila for a one-timer and a goal. Kossila has picked up a point in consecutive games (1G/1A) and has recorded 3-6=9 points in his previous seven games. With the lone assist on the play, Terry moved into a tie for the rookie league lead in points (16-24=40).
With 31 seconds left in the game, Matt Roy sealed a 6-3 Ontario win with an empty-net goal from just inside his own blue line to seal the game.
San Diego will begin a club record long six-game road trip beginning on Friday, Feb. 8 at Ontario (7 p.m.). The road trip will also feature stops in Bakersfield (Saturday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m. PT), Colorado (Tuesday, Feb. 12 and Wednesday, Feb. 13, both 6:05 p.m. PT) and San Jose (Saturday, Feb. 16 and Monday, Feb. 18, both 1:15 p.m. PT). The Gulls have had three prior road trips total five games, with the last spanning from Nov. 26-Dec. 9, 2017 with stops in San Jose, Ontario, Milwaukee, Chicago and Iowa.