Gulls Seven-Game Home Point Streak Snapped in 4-3 Setback to OntarioNov 21, 2018
The Gulls fell 4-3 to the Ontario Reign tonight at Valley View Casino Center. The regulation defeat ended a seven-game home point streak from Oct. 19-Nov. 16 (5-0-1-1), tied for the second longest home point streak in club history..
San Diego jumped out to a three-goal first period lead behind goals from rookies Sam Steel, Max Jones and Troy Terry, but ultimately succumbed to letting their foot off the gas, giving up four unanswered goals.
"It’s a tough one to swallow. It’s always nice to have a three-goal lead and to let another team chip away at that is definitely not the game plan," said Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins. "I thought in the second period we just let the game get away from us. We let them dictate the pace and we got running around."
Sam Steel opened the scoring at 3:08 of the first period with his first career AHL goal. After a big save on the other end of the ice from Kevin Boyle, Steel took a pass in the slot from Joseph Blandisi and snapped it past Ontario netminder Michael Leighton low to the near side to give San Diego a 1-0 lead.
Max Jones found the back of the net on the first Gulls power play of the game as Corey Tropp screened Leighton for the score. The tally marked Jones’ third goal of season and second in the previous three games.
Terry scored for the fourth straight game and added an assist to extend his point streak to a club record 10 games. The 10-game point streak surpasses the previous club record for points in consecutive games set by Corey Tropp (Dec. 9, 2017-Jan. 3, 2018; 8-6=14) and Nic Kerdiles (Feb. 26-Mar. 18, 2016; 7-9=16). Terry has scored points in all 10 career AHL games (7-8=15).
“He’s the poster boy of how you should take a demotion from the NHL,” added Eakins. “He’s going to be a really special player.”
Terry also now owns the longest point streak in the AHL this season and currently has the longest point streak by an AHL rookie since San Jose’s Marcus Sorensen recorded a 10-game point streak from Jan. 21-Feb. 25, 2017 (6-9=15).
With 45 remaining in the opening frame, San Diego’s power play struck again as Terry calmly slid the puck through Leighton’s legs from the side of the net. The tally extended Terry’s goal-scoring streak to four games, the longest streak by a Gulls rookie and tied for the second-longest goal streak in club history, one game shy of tying Brandon Montour’s club record five-game goal streak from Dec. 26, 2016-Jan.16, 2017 (6-4=10).
Jones earned an assist on the goal, his second point of the game and second multi-point performance in his last three games.
The Gulls scored on both of their power play opportunities in the first period. San Diego has multiple power-play goals in four games this season, including two in each of the past two games.
The Gulls led 3-0 after the first period, but it didn’t last long. Ontario’s Sheldon Rempal got the Reign on the board 4:10 into the second period with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle.
Two special teams goals would then pull the Reign to a 3-3 tie. Just 2:02 after Rempal’s goal, a power-play tally by Brett Sutter made it a one-goal game. Sam Herr tied it at three with a shorthanded goal at 14:02 of the second period.
“I thought in the the second period we just let the game get away from us,” said Eakins. “We let them dictate the pace and we got running around.”
Special teams was a significant factor in the game as both teams combined for 13 power-play opportunities, the most of any Gulls game since the season opener in Tucson on October 6. San Diego finished the night 2-of-8 on the power play and 1-of-5 on the penalty kill.
Ontario took the lead for the first time as Sean Walker beat Boyle with a slap shot seven minutes into the third period, ultimately the game-winning goal.
The Gulls conclude season-long five-game homestand Friday night when they host the Stockton Heat at Valley View Casino Center (7 p.m., Radio: Mighty 1090).