Gulls Down Eagles For Second Straight Night in 3-2 WinNov 10, 2018
The Gulls defeated the Colorado Eagles 3-2 to earn a second straight victory tonight at Valley View Casino Center. Three rookie goal scorers in Max Comtois, Max Jones and Troy Terry led the way, with goaltender Kevin Boyle stopping 41-of-43 shots en route to his second win in as many nights to conclude Military Weekend.
“Those are two hard-fought games,” said Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins. “It’s always amazing you can go into a weekend and win a couple of games 4-1 or 5-1 each and you feel good, but when they are that hard fought, that close, and you’ve had so many guys sacrifice, it feels even better. I’m really proud of our group.”
Prior to the game, left wing Max Comtois was assigned by Anaheim to San Diego on a long-term injury conditioning loan. His first game with the Gulls was similar to his debut with the Ducks earlier this season as he made an immediate impact by scoring a goal on the man advantage 2:26 into the opening period. Comtois also scored his first career NHL goal in his NHL debut with Anaheim on Oct. 3 at San Jose. His goal 49 seconds into the game was the fastest to start an NHL career since 1989.
Fellow rookie Sam Steel made the goal possible by retrieving the puck from a scrum in front of the net, taking it behind the net and passing it to an uncovered Comtois who put it past Eagles goaltender Pavel Francouz for the Gulls’ 11th power-play tally of the season. Joe Blandisi also received an assist on the play for his third of the season.
With their 11th power-play goal of the season, the Gulls rank tied for first in power-play goals scored among Pacific Division teams. San Diego matched a season-high with 16 shots on goal in the first period, previously set Oct. 12 vs.Tucson.
There was no shortage of penalties called in the first period and the trend continued in the second. While killing Sam Carrick’s holding the stick minor, Alex Dostie stole the puck for a breakaway and drew another penalty for slashing, but failed to score on the play. The second frame went scoreless as neither team could find the back of the net.
Less than a minute into the third period, another penalty was called, this time against Colorado’s Scott Kosmachuk for checking to the head on Gulls defenseman Josh Mahura. However, the Eagles were the ones who capitalized for their second short-handed goal in back-to-back games. Andrew Agozzino was the recipient of the tally at 2:06 of the third period while Justin Falk added the lone assist.
Although the power play had ended, and 55 seconds after Aggozino's goal, Max Jones found the puck in a scramble near the front of the net and put it past Colorado’s Pavel Francouz for his second goal and fifth point of the season. Corey Tropp and Kalle Kossila assisted on the goal. Tropp (2-10=12, 11 GP) and Kossila (3-4=7, 6 GP) are both scoring at over a point per game.
At the 7:37 mark of the period, Agozzino bounced the puck off of a San Diego defender to sneak in a goal past Kevin Boyle. It was the second time in the matchup that Agozzino tied the game.
For the Gulls third goal and eventual game-winner, Troy Terry took a missed shot by Max Jones and netted his fifth goal of the season. His fifth goal of the season extended his club record point streak to start an AHL career to eight straight games (5-6=11).
Terry’s eight-game point streak is tied for the longest active streak in the AHL with Utica’s Reid Boucher (also eight games, 9-3=12 points) and is the longest recorded by a rookie this season. Terry also tied the Gulls rookie record for consecutive games with a point, matching Kalle Kossila’s eight-game point streak from Dec. 29, 2016-Jan. 20, 2017 (4-8=12).
“When I was up [in Anaheim] I was trying to get points and pushing for it and I think that’s when I started to struggle,” said Terry. “I tried to do things on my own and I would get frustrated. I was fortunate to have that good first weekend here, get a clear mind, and not have to worry about points. It’s never my concern and it’s nice to just go out, do what I can to win hockey games and not have any pressure to produce. That’s when I do the best and I typically produce the most.”
San Diego will continue the homestand on Friday, Nov. 16 vs. the Bakersfield Condors (7 p.m.). as part of Willie O’Ree Night. The team will honor O’Ree following his induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, Nov. 12.