Drysdale, Dostal Power San Diego Past BakersfieldFeb 6, 2021
By AJ Manderichio/SanDiegoGulls.com
The kids are more than alright.
San Diego’s rookies shined bright on Saturday night, powering the team to a 4-3 win over the rival Bakersfield Condors. The Gulls swept the opening weekend series and have won five straight over Bakersfield dating back to the 2019-20 season.
Jamie Drysdale became the youngest player in Gulls history to score a goal – and later added an assist – to pick up his first professional goal and multi-point performance.
"I just saw a broken play along the boards," Drysdale said while explaining his goal. "We ended up winning the battle and I saw Dostie skating up and the defense committed to him. There was a gap of open ice in the middle so I tried to take advantage of that. Dostie made a heck of a pass. I just came down and tried not to overthink it, I saw a spot and shot for it. I was fortunate enough for it to go in."
Trevor Zegras continued his torrid start, collecting another two points (1g/1a). As of the end of this game, the rookie center led the American Hockey League in scoring with five points (2g/3a).
Lukas Dostal continued his strong play, stopping 40 shots to record back-to-back wins. He became the third Gulls netminder to win each of his first two starts with the club, joining John Gibson (Oct. 10-16, 2015) and Anton Khudobin (Dec. 18-19, 2015).
"Not just the youth, but the quality of those young guys." said assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre. "They’re skilled and their hockey sense is through the roof. Right now, Jamie (Drysdale) is playing really well the veteran Keegan Lowe. Then you have (Trevor) Zegras who’s playing with Sam Carrick and Chase De Leo, and they’re doing really well. They bring our offense. I’m trying to match Drysdale as much as possible with those three guys up front and it brings more offensive zone time. Having said that, there are other guys like (Lukas) Dostal – you can’t forget about him because he’s the real deal. You saw it in the two games, especially tonight, getting  shots and holding the fort there at the end when Bakersfield was pressing hard."
Sam Carrick and Chase De Leo also scored for the Gulls, who opened the season with two consecutive wins for the first time since the team’s inaugural 2015-16 season.
Bakersfield started the scoring in the first period, with Seth Griffith tallying his first of the season just over two minutes into the game.
The right wing carried the puck through the neutral zone, dishing a pass to Alan Quine at the San Diego blue line. He quickly darted past the defense, cutting into the slot while Quine slowly waited for a passing lane to develop. Griffith reached out his stick as the pass came across the crease, just getting enough to deflect it by Lukas Dostal for his first goal of the season.
San Diego would respond in latter part of the period, striking twice to grab a one-goal lead.
De Leo continued his good start, picking up his second goal of the season on a heads-up play. The La Mirada, CA native alertly collected a Trevor Carrick rebound from the end boards, snapping a sharp angle shot on net. Bakersfield netminder Olivier Rodrigue couldn’t recover in time, and the puck skipped past him and into the net to even the score at one.
Drysdale would strike just over a minute later, converting a breakaway attempt to put San Diego ahead.
The sixth-overall selection the 2020 NHL Draft saw an opening as players battled for a loose puck along the boards, darting from his blue line through center ice uncovered. Alex Dostie fed him the puck, and the defenseman moved in all alone Rodrigue. He whipped a wrist shot off the post and in for the milestone marker.
Bakersfield would battle back, with Cooper Marody drawing them even at two early in the second period. The veteran center pounced on a shot off the end boards, chipping it over a sliding Dostal before he could cover the post.
The Gulls wasted no time jumping ahead, with Carrick restoring the one-goal lead just 90 seconds later.
Drysdale held the puck along the side boards, dropping a pass for Zegras. The rookie center skated to the blue line, where he floated a soft wrist shot toward the net. Carrick, stationed in front, deflected the puck past Rodrigue for his first goal of the season.
Zegras added the fourth goal, recording the game-winning tally on the power play in the second period.
The 2019 first-round draft pick received a cross-ice pass from defenseman Kodie Curran, faking a shot as Bakersfield defenseman Ryan Stanton went sliding by him on the ice. Zegras reloaded and fired the puck short side, squeaking it through Rodrigue.
Bakersfield would climb within one in the third period, with rookie defenseman Theodor Lennstrom recording his first career AHL goal.
Dostal and his defense shut the door after that, denying the Condors the game-tying tally as they pressured late in regulation.
San Diego continues its six-game homestand on Wednesday night against the Ontario Reign.