Gulls Win Fourth Straight on Home Ice After 4-3 Victory Over CondorsDec 27, 2018
The Gulls won their fourth straight home game and extended their standings point streak to a season-high six games with a 4-3 win over the Bakersfield Condors at Pechanga Arena San Diego. Sam Carrick netted the game-winning goal to tie his career-high in goals scored, while Kevin Boyle stopped 27 shots to earn his fourth straight victory.
The four consecutive wins at home sets a new season high and marks the longest home win streak since a six-game win streak from Feb. 3-Mar. 2, 2018. San Diego’s six straight games with a point (4-0-0-2, 10 points) marks the longest standings point streak since the club won eight straight games from Jan. 26-Feb. 17, 2018; 8-0-0-0.
"I thought we were quite sloppy in the first period," said Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins. "We had a little chat about it in between periods and we just wanted to get back to our good habits and good competitiveness that we had going into the break. Good on the group. They regrouped and were able to come back and do what was necessary to get the win."
The Gulls 10-5-1-1 (22 points) record on home ice this season sets a new club record for points through 17 games at the halfway mark of the home schedule and matches the most wins through the first 17 games (also 2017-18, 10-7-0-0).
After a San Diego turnover on the blue line of offensive zone, Kailer Yamamoto found himself on a breakaway, but Boyle stopped him with a glove save to keep the game scoreless at 12:28 of the opening period.
“He’s been excellent. Tonight, he made saves when we needed them,” said Eakins in reference to Boyle. “That is something that is critical for any team that is winning hockey games, their goaltender is better than the other one. Kevin certainly showed that tonight.”
Just a few minutes later, Luke Schenn lifted the puck out of the defensive zone to give Max Jones a breakaway chance of his own. Jones, aiming blocker side, beat everything except the post as the game would remain scoreless through the end of 20 minutes.
Bakersfield finally broke the deadlock as Tyler Vesel redirected a pass from Ethan Bear past Boyle’s outstretched glove to give the Condors a 1-0 lead 12 minutes into the second period. Yamamoto picked up the other assist, giving him his eighth point in 11 games and to extend his point streak to three games (3-1=4).
The Condors doubled the lead just 61 seconds later as Josh Currie snapped a shot just underneath the crossbar and past Boyle from the right faceoff circle. Currie has scored in three of his last five games (3-0=3).
It took 36:28 for the game’s first penalty to be called as Keaton Thompson drew a minor penalty as Cooper Marody was sent to the penalty box for holding. As the two-minute minor expired, Carrick’s net-front deflection hit the crossbar, but stayed out of the net.
Seconds later, the Gulls newest addition, Steve McParland, recorded his first career AHL goal after signing a professional tryout (PTO) with San Diego earlier in the day. The goal was made possible by Jake Marchment as he won the faceoff to Scott Moldenhauer who registered his first shot on net in his seventh game this season, resulting in the rebound that allowed McParland to score San Diego’s first goal with 1:09 left in the second period.
The score marked the first career AHL point for both Moldenhauer and McParland. In addition, Marchment was credited with the other assist a day after also signing a PTO with the Gulls.
The Gulls tied the game with another goal coming directly after a won faceoff. With a draw in the left faceoff circle, Kalle Kossila pulled the puck back to Jaycob Megna at the point. Megna then fired a shot through the screen of Kossila and Joseph Blandisi in front and past Bakersfield netminder Dylan Wells to even the score. Megna, appearing in his 200th game as a Gull, has recorded a point in four of his last five games played (1-3=4), while Kossila extended his point and assist streak to three games (2-4=6).
Bakersfield forward Braden Christoffer was assessed a five minute major penalty and game misconduct for boarding Gulls defenseman Keaton Thompson with 11:12 left in the third period.
Tied at two with a five-minute power play, the Gulls took advantage. After Blandisi won a puck battle in the corner, Kossila and Troy Terry combined to set up a point shot for Andy Welinski, who beat Wells over the blocker to give the Gulls their first lead of the night with 8:45 left in the game.
The goal marked a new career high for Welinski, his third straight game finding the back of the net. Welinski has scored 3-1=4 points during the three-game goal and point streak.
“I think we’re finding a little bit of an identity,” said Gulls defenseman Andy Welinski. “We found out really quick tonight, if we get away from the simple things and the keys to our success, we’ll struggle a little bit like we did in the first period. I thought we did a good job of responding and getting back to the things that we were doing so well before the break.”
With just five seconds remaining in Christoffer’s major penalty, San Diego scored again on the man advantage. Chase De Leo grabbed a pass along the right wing wall before sliding it across the slot to a waiting Carrick. Carrick slammed home the one-timer to put the Gulls up by two with 6:17 to play. With the goal, Carrick extended his team lead in goals (16) and tied his career-high set in 2015-16 with the Toronto Marlies. De Leo’s assist on the play extended his point and assist streak to four games (1-4=5).
The Condors pulled back within a goal less than a minute later as Logan Day took a pass from Vesel and beat Boyle inside the post with 5:31 left. San Diego held on to the lead for their fourth consecutive win on home ice and sixth overall game without losing in regulation (4-0-0-2).
The game was one with many milestones as it also marked Ben Thomson’s 300th career AHL game and Megna’s becoming the first Gull to reach the 200-game mark.
San Diego didn’t take a single penalty throughout the game, marking the first time the team has stayed out of the penalty box in all four seasons of the franchise's history.
The Gulls will open a three-game road trip vs. Bakersfield on Saturday, Dec. 29 at Rabobank Arena (7 p.m.). San Diego will also visit San Jose on Dec. 30 at SAP Center (5 p.m.) and return to Bakersfield on Jan. 2, 2019 (6:30 p.m.).