Gulls Win 4-3 in Regular-Season Finale at TucsonApr 13, 2019
The Gulls closed out the 2018-19 season with a 4-3 win over the Tucson Roadrunners tonight at Tucson Convention Center Arena. With the win, San Diego secured the third seed in the Pacific Division and will meet the San Jose Barracuda in the first round of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. With the win, San Diego completed the season with standings points in six consecutive road games (5-0-2-0). San Diego also secured the fourth seed in the Western Conference with a .588 points perccentage.
Sam Carrick scored his 100th career AHL goal and his team-leading 32nd of the season to move into a tie for fourth place in the AHL in goals and lead the Western Conference. Carrick concluded his regular season leading San Diego in scoring and goals, setting single-season records for both categories. He also leads the Western Conference in goals.
Ben Street tied a season-high with three points (1G/2A) to extend his point streak to five games (4-6=10). Street also ended the season on a three-game goal streak (3-3=6), marking a season high in addition to earning six goals and 13 points his last 10 games (6-7=13).
Sam Steel scored on the power play for the second straight game to become the first Gulls rookie to hit the 20-goal mark. Steel became the fourth Gull to reach 20 goals, joining Carrick Tropp and Chase De Leo. Steel has collected seven points his last six AHL games (3-4=7) in addition to 8-5=13 points his last 13 contests. San Diego co-leads the Western Conference and leads the Pacific Division with four 20-goal scorers.
Jeff Glass stopped 35-of-38 shots to mark his 12th win of the season (12-9-3). Glass posted an 8-5-2 record with one shutout in 19 appearances with San Diego this season.
Glass was the star of a fairly uneventful first period, stopping all 15 of Tucson’s shots in a scoreless opening 20 minutes. San Diego put up eight shots and neither team took a penalty in the first frame.
Just 19 seconds into the second period, the puck came out of a scramble behind the net and out into the slot. Trevor Murphy sped from the blue line to fire a slap shot on Adin Hill. The play was immediately whistled dead so the officials could take a look to see if the puck had crossed the blue line. After several minutes of reviewing, it was determined the puck never entered the net and play resumed.
San Diego scored the first goal of the night 4:36 into the second. Trevor Murphy threw a long pass from the Gulls zone to Ben Street who was in full stride down the ice. In a play that looked very similar to his goal in the previous game, Street collected the pass for a breakaway chance and beat Hill with a blocker side shot.
The Roadrunners tied the game at the 11:06 mark of the second by Lane Pederson who scored for the second time in as many nights. Pederson took a drop pass from Nick Merkley and brought it to the net untouched before firing a shot over Glass’ shoulder for the score.
With 4:55 remaining in the middle frame, the Gulls retook the lead as Carrick netted hit the century mark with his 100th career tally. Following a blocker save by Glass, the Gulls took the puck down the ice and create an odd-man rush. Tropp backhanded a pass over to Carrick who challenged Hill with a blocker-side shot and won. With the helper, Corey Tropp made it five straight games with a point (2-5=7).
Tucson’s Dakota Mermis took a two-minute penalty for cross-checking and the red hot San Diego power play made their first and only appearance of the night. Josh Mahura passed to Kalle Kossila who took his time before firing a shot at Hill. The initial shot was blocked, but the rebound went directly to Steel who buried the rebound for the Gulls third goal of the night. With the power-play goal, Steel became the first rookie in club history to reach the 20-goal mark.
Adam Cracknell added to San Diego’s lead with his 18th goal of the season 5:46 into the final frame. Cracknell took a pass from Mahura in the neutral zone and beat Hill with a long wrist shot from the high slot. The assist from Mahura marked his fourth multi-assist game this season as the defenseman completed his rookie campaign leading Gulls defensemen in scoring (1-18=19) and assists.
Tucson made a comeback attempt from a three-goal deficit. Conor Garland netted two third-period goals. The first came on a glove-side wrist shot at the 6:04 mark of the third, just 18 seconds after Cracknell’s goal. With 1:14 remaining in the game, Garlund cut the lead to just one goal on a rebound chance.
However, the comeback effort fell short and the Roadrunners couldn’t tie the game. The Gulls walked away with a win in their final game of the 2018-19 regular season, collecting standings points in seven consecutive road games (5-0-2-0).
The Gulls will open their 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs schedule with Game 1 of the First Round on Wednesday, Apr. 17 vs. the San Jose Barracuda at Pechanga Arena San Diego.