Dotchin's Two Goals Power Gulls to 4-1 Win Over MooseMar 17, 2019
Three first period goals in a span of 4:37 stood up as the Gulls earned a 4-1 victory over the Manitoba Moose at Bell MTS Place. Two goals from defenseman Jake Dotchin and 38 saves by Kevin Boyle held firm as the Gulls won their second straight game and became only the second team since Dec. 30 to defeat Manitoba in their own rink. Manitoba entered today’s game with a 15-1-1-1 mark on home ice, but San Diego’s first period blitz stopped the Moose in their tracks.
"It took a bit to kind of get back to the speed. The coaches and the trainers Mike (Ermatinger) and Ryan (Ledwon) helped me get back to the point where I needed to be to come back and make an impact," said Dotchin. "I couldn’t have done it without our medical staff here. Those two goals were scored by all three of us."
San Diego was backstopped by Dotchin’s first career two goal game, and goals from Ben Thomson and Kiefer Sherwood. The penalty kill came up big again with all three stops while shorthanded. The Gulls set a new club record with 27 straight penalties killed dating to Mar. 1 at Stockton, a span of seven complete games to surpass the previous record of 26 consecutive penalties from Dec. 5-27, 2015 spanning seven games (five full contests). San Diego has not allowed a power play goal for 22 straight periods dating to the third period on Feb. 23.
"It’s that time of year where you have to risk everything and put your body on the line to win hockey games," added Dotchin. "It’s pretty exciting when you can pull out with two points after you put that much on the line. We have some things to clean up, we weren’t too happy with our second period, but we’ll take the two points. They’re crucial at this time of year."
The Gulls earned an early power play with Hunter Fejes in the penalty box and Sam Carrick nearly gave San Diego an early lead but his one-timer from Corey Tropp rang the crossbar. The Gulls would earn a five-on-three man advantage for 13 seconds with Charles David Beaudoin whistled for an interference penalty, but the Gulls couldn’t gain momentum from either power play as both teams were scoreless through the midway point of the opening period.
Jake Dotchin opened the scoring at 14:03 of the opening period to give San Diego a 1-0 lead as his point shot found its way through traffic to beat Manitoba goaltender Eric Comrie. Kevin Roy began the rush up ice from behind his own net and as he hit the corner, left it for Sam Carrick who found Dothcin at the point whose one-timer marked his third straight game in his return to the lineup following a 19-game absence due to an upper-body injury.
Ben Thomson doubled the lead 35 seconds later as his snap shot from between the circles beat Comrie over the glove for his fourth tally of the season. Adam Cracknell set up the goal with a chip pass into the middle to mark his 34th point of the season and 11th (5-6=11) his last 10 games.
San Diego would triple their lead with 80 seconds remaining in the first period as Simon Benoit found a streaking Kiefer Sherwood at the far blue line. His entry into the zone created a two-on-one rush and as Sherwood hit the bottom of the right circle fed a pass through a Moose defenseman’s skates and the goal was originally credited to Carrick. The puk never made it to Carrick as it deflected off a Moose stick and into the back of the net and Sherwood would earn his fifth goal of the campaign and his second straight game with a goal. Benoit earned the primary assist, while De Leo picked up his team-leading 28th assist in his return to Manitoba.
After one period of play the Gulls led 3-0 on the scoreboard and 14-9 in shots on goal with the three tallies tying a season high set on four previous occasions during 2018-19 (last: Feb. 20 vs. Tucson).
Manitoba’s best chance to get on the board came just prior to the midway point of the contest as JC Lipon directed a feed just wide of the net to the far post of Boyle with the Moose enjoying their best stretch of the game with a few consecutive lengthy shifts in the offensive zone.
With defenseman Patrick Sieloff in the box for a delay of game penalty, the Gulls had the better of the chances while shorthanded in killing off their 25th straight penalty dating to Mar. 1. The first penalty killed for San Diego tied the second-longest mark in club history and just one kill shy of tying the franchise mark.
San Diego would kill another penalty, their 26th straight, with just under 30 seconds remaining in the second period to tie the club record set from Dec. 5-27, 2015 spanning seven games (five full games).
The middle frame came to an end with the Gulls still holding a three-goal advantage while Manitoba outshot them 12-10 in the middle frame.
Manitoba would get on the board with 13:36 remaining in the game as former Gull Ryan White buried his second goal of the season. Cameron Schilling stopped a puck from being rimmed around the boards and outside of the zone, fed Jimmy Oligny who then found White at the hash marks to snap a shot over the glove of Boyle to cut the Gulls lead to 3-1.
Dotchin sealed the win with 2:30 left in the game with his second career shorthanded goal with Comrie pulled in favor of an extra attacker a minute prior as Ben Street sat in the penalty box for a holding infraction shortly before. The goal, his second of the game, marked the first career two-goal game. Patrick Sieloff’s clearing attempt up and over the Moose defense sprung Dotchin who outmuscled Logan Shaw to tap the puck into the empty net. The assist marked the first point as a Gull for Sieloff.
The penalty would be killed and the Gulls set a net club record with their 27th straight penalty kill to surpass the aforementioned mark.
The commitment our guys have had, it’s been a run of 10-15 games our penalty kill has been stellar," said assistant coach Brett Ferguson. "It starts with Kevin Boyle and Jeff Glass in net. They’ve been good and it’s contagious. Guys are blocking shots. One thing we’re really doing a good job is we’re killing plays off the entries and getting 200-foot clears."
"The commitment to killing those penalties. We’re blocking more shots, winning faceoffs too, and those little things really add up. We’ve made a few tweaks system wise, but nothing major. It’s just the commitment to killing penalties."
Boyle would ensure the three-goal lead stood in the waning moments of the game as he denied two point-blank opportunities which would seal the 4-1 win for San Diego. With the win, Boyle improved to 16-4-1 his last 21 games.
The win for San Diego vaulted the Gulls into second place in the Pacific Division, matching Colorado for 70 points and ahead on two tiebreakers (fewer games played and more regulations and overtime wins). Colorado and San Jose (68 points) play today.
The Gulls and Moose will conclude their four-game season series on Tuesday, Mar. 19 at Bell MTS Place (5 p.m. PT) before San Diego returns home to open a four-game homestand on Saturday, Mar. 23 vs. Ontario (7 p.m.).