Gulls Look For Series Sweep Against BakersfieldFeb 6, 2021
By AJ Manderichio/SanDiegoGulls.com
The San Diego Gulls will look to sweep a two-game series tonight when they face off against the Bakersfield Condors at FivePoint Arena in Irvine, CA (5 p.m. PT; TV: Fox 5 San Diego, AHL TV/Radio: Gulls Audio Network). San Diego is 26-17-1-2 all-time against Bakersfield, including 13-9-0-1 on home ice.
The two teams opened the 2020-21 season last night, with the Gulls grabbing a 4-1 win to open the season. It’s the team’s third season-opening game at home and the second consecutive season they opened with a matchup against Bakersfield. San Diego is now 4-2-0-0 in season openers, including the first-ever Gulls AHL contest Oct. 10, 2015 vs. Grand Rapids (4-2 win).
San Diego’s top line led the way in the team’s win. Rookie center Trevor Zegras – one of eight players making his professional debut – recorded three points, including his first professional goal. Chase De Leo (1g/1a) scored the go-ahead tally in the second period, giving him four points in his three season openers with the Gulls.
The offense came alive following a first period where Bakersfield grabbed a 1-0 lead and dictated the pace of play.
“We’re going to be in situations where we’re maybe down a goal or two,” De Leo said following the win. “That resiliency, not giving up and knowing we’re going to come back no matter how much we’re down or even when we’re ahead we have to pretend like we’re down. Keep the pedal to the metal.”
Kodie Curran tallied his first American Hockey League goal, and Matt Lorito added a third-period tally to cap the scoring for San Diego.
“It was a bit of a weird goal but obviously, when you’re playing with a guy like Zegras, their line was capitalizing all night,” Curran said. “I know he tried something fancy before the goal and I was an audience, but for him to find me and have it bank off a couple of things, it’s emotional for me just because of the past to get here. I just try to always make the most of every opportunity so to see that one go in was a lot of hard work paid off. I was really excited to help my teammates out.”
Rookie netminder Lukas Dostal stopped 29 shots in his debut, becoming the first netminder in Gulls history to record a win in his first AHL start.
“He’s just chill in the net,” head coach Kevin Dineen explained. “He makes some things look easy. They only had one power lay but there were a couple tough scrambles as the game was winding down. That’s what I really liked, in those key areas where they were really pushing to try to scrape something together there, he had a really high compete level and had to work really hard to get on top of the puck. Very solid effort from our netminder.”
Jacob Perreault tallied his first AHL point and assist, capping off a successful night for the team’s young players. The mix of youthful exuberance and veteran leadership played a major role in the win.
“Bakersfield brings a big, strong veteran team into our building and it’s a different game,” Dineen said. “There are little details to the game and we’re going to make that’s not only something we want out of them, that’s part of our identity. I go back to my veteran group. I know I’ve got some real quality guys on the blue line who have been around and some forwards that have had different experiences. Those are good things for the kids and that was a good experience for them. The pace was higher and the quality of play was higher. I think when you’re around that, your game rises to that level.”
Devin Brosseau scored for Bakersfield in his AHL debut. Rookie netminder Olivier Rodrigue stopped 27 of 31 shots.
Following this game, San Diego will continue its homestand against the Ontario Reign (Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. PT).