Kossila Leads Gulls in Comeback to Earn Point in Shooutout LossDec 22, 2018
The Gulls scored four third-period goals to battle back and force overtime to earn a point in a 7-6 shootout loss today at Citizens Business Bank Arena. The Gulls overcame 3-1 and 6-4 deficits to force overtime, and eventually a shootout, to extend their standings point streak to five games (3-0-0-2). The Gulls also earned three of a possible four points this weekend to maintain their advantage of Ontario in the standings.
Kalle Kossila had a career night with four points to match his previous AHL high, while San Diego (11-11-1-3) also received multi-point efforts from Andy Welinski, Joseph Blandisi and Sam Steel, while Jeff Glass made 26 saves in his Gulls debut.
But it was Philippe Maillet who netted a hat trick for Ontario, while Kale Clague recorded a career high four assists to help the Reign (10-11-3-2) split the home-and-home set before the AHL holiday break.
“That’s about as gritty and hard as we’ve played this year,” said Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins. “Adversity is always good for anyone and we definitely experienced it tonight. It was such a great response on the bench the whole night. You can go and do a lot of team bonding things away from the ice, but that was about as good as an exercise right there tonight for team bonding.”
“It was a night where a lot of our guys were not going to be denied. I’m as proud of a team that I have been here in a long time.”
Only 2:40 into the game last night’s emotions creeped back into today’s contest as a post-whistle scrum led to Gulls forward Deven Sideroff and Drake Rymsha dropping the gloves. In a short bout Sideroff got the best of, the 6-0,180-pound forward would leave the ice immediately and not return. On a quick, 17-hour turnaround from last night’s game in San Diego, the Gulls would be forced to skate with 11 forwards for the remaining 57-plus minutes of action.
Ontario broke the early deadlock at 7:38 of the first period as Philippe Maillet collected a loose puck at the top of the circle and his snap shot beat Glass over the right shoulder. In a shift that Glass had just denied Maillet on the breakaway attempt, Sam Steel denied a cross-ice pass by Kale Clague that deflected back to Maillet who found the back of the net for the sixth time this season.
After their first 14 shots of the period were denied by Campbell, Kossila batted in a rebound created off a rush by Matt Berry for his sixth goal of the season at 12:47 of the opening frame. Andy Welinski broke up Ontario’s transition up ice at his own blue line that Kossila corralled and found Berry for a partial breakaway. It was Berry’s far post shot that caromed off Campbell and Kossila’s net-front presence was enough to smash the puck into the roof of the net and tie the game at one apiece.
With the primary assist, Berry set a personal best with points in three straight games (1-4=5) and has recorded six points (1G/5A) in seven games since joining the Gulls on a professional tryout Dec. 7.
San Diego outshot Ontario 21-9 in the first period, a season-high for shots on goal in any period this season. It marked the most shots in a single period since registering 20 shots on goal in the first period on Feb. 3, 2018 vs. Tucson.
Just as they did in the opening frame, Ontario took an early lead in the middle period at the 4:55 mark off another rebound. Reign forward Sam Herr potted his fifth goal of the season when Kyle Bauman’s shot was kicked away by Glass but it was Herr who fired the rebound straight back into the net. Clague added the secondary assist for his second helper of the game.
Just 57 seconds later the Gulls had an incredible moment of misfortune as Glass left his net for an extra attacker with a delayed penalty, Sam Carrick was 200-feet from his own goal and a backhand pass went over the Gulls defense and slide precariously into the Gulls net. The unfortunate own goal gave the Reign a 3-1 lead with the goal tallied to Matt Roy who was the last Ontario player to touch the puck.
It was Carrick that would get San Diego right back into the game on the ensuing power play as he deflected Jaycob Megna’s point shot past Campbell to cut the deficit to 3-2. Sam Steel collected the secondary assist, his third helper in as many games (0-3=3). With the goal, Carrick has now scored in a career high four straight games, has a six-game point streak and has six goals over his last six games.
At 17:13 of the middle period Luke Gazdic came to the aid of Welinski who had just been hit by Jamie Devane who was whistled for a charging penalty. Gazdic and Devane dropped the gloves and just as they two got tangled, Devane fell to the ice quickly and clutched at his arm. Gazdic received an instigator penalty, resulting in 17 penalty minutes (two minute minor, five for fighting and 10-minute misconduct), resulting in the Gulls down two forwards for the first 14-plus minutes of the final period.
At the second intermission, San Diego trailed 3-2 but led on the shot clock 33-17.
Just 23 seconds into the game Maillet tipped Roy’s point shot that appeared to be going wide past the far post to extend Ontario’s lead to 4-2. The goal marked Maillet’s 20th point of the season.
Welinski cut the lead to one goal at 14:50 of the final period with a power-play goal for the second straight game. The goal marked his fourth of the season and third on the man advantage. Kossila picked up the primary assist for a multi-point game while Max Jones recorded his third point of the weekend (1-2=3).
Another melee with all 10 skaters occurred at 13:10 of the period as Berry played a puck around the boards near the offensive blue line, his follow through caught a Reign forward and three Ontario players quickly met Berry at the half wall. Keaton Thompson and Brett Sutter squared off during the scrum and were each given five minutes for fighting. Berry was assessed a match penalty resulting in a five-minute power play while another minor penalty was given to San Diego to give Ontario a full two-minute, two-man advantage.
Forty seconds into the power play Ontario would push their lead to 5-3 after two grade-A saves from Glass but the shorthanded Gulls couldn’t get to the loose puck and veteran winger Matt Moulson buried the loose puck. Clague earned an assist on the goal for his third of the game.
Kalle Kossila scored a shorthanded goal only nine seconds later to turn the tide and make it a 5-4 game at the 12:20 mark. Joseph Blandisi got to a dump in that Campbell had misplayed behind his net and freed the puck to Kossila at the top of the crease whose tap in marked his seventh goal of the season.
The special teams goals continued as Maillet scored his third goal of the game at 11:22, just 58 seconds later as he finished a wrist shot from the top of the circle, beating Glass blocker side and recording his first career hat trick. Clague added his fourth assist of the night, marking a career-high in scoring.
Blandisi was whistled for slashing with 2:30 remaining on Berry’s five-minute major and the Reign would again be given a two-man advantage for the full two minutes. Ontario’s two goals on the power play during the five minutes of time, despite the Gulls shorthanded goal, left them with a 6-4 lead with just under eight minutes in regulation.
With 7:04 remaining, Troy Terry cut the lead to one again with his 10th goal of the season with Steel earning his second assist of the game.
Joe Blandisi tied the game at six apiece with 6:04 to go in regulation on a back-door feed from Kossila to cap off a four-goal period for San Diego, tying a third period season high and tie a club record set on six previous occasions (last: Dec. 19 vs. San Jose). Blandisi’s goal marked his fifth goal of the season and second point of the game. With the assist on the goal, Kossila tied a career high with his second career four-point game with two goals and two assists (2-2=4). Kossila recorded four assist (0-4=4) on Jan. 3, 2018 at Texas.
The game required extra minutes and after five minutes of a scoreless overtime, the game was forced to a shootout. San Diego was unable to beat Jack Campbell in the shootout and the Gulls fell to Ontario in the second of two matchups against their Southern California rivals.
“I think we played really hard. We played hard and I’m really proud of what we did out there,” said Kossila following the game. “Now it’s good to get a couple day’s break and come back with more energy.”
Both the Gulls and the Reign each capitalized on two of their four power-play opportunities. San Diego has scored on the man-advantage nine times in its last eight games played, going 9-for-44 over that span (20.5%).
Jack Campbell, appearing in his first game for Ontario this season following his assignment by the Los Angeles Kings on a long-term injury condition loan after knee surgery, made 40 saves in regulation and overtime, and denied all three San Diego shootout attempts to earn his first AHL win of the season.