Gulls Falter In Loss To Condors Despite Strong GoaltendingNov 11, 2022
By Brett Pickler/SanDiegoGulls.com
The San Diego Gulls lose a goaltending battle 2-0 to the Bakersfield Condors at Pechanga Arena San Diego on Military Appreciation Night brought to you by Indian Motorcycle of San Diego.
This Veterans Day celebration paid tribute to San Diego’s military members and their families and raised awareness and funds for the Armed Services YMCA.
The Gulls donated over 1,500 tickets to the game to local veterans, service members and other military support organizations. San Diego wore specialty camouflage uniforms throughout the game to commemorate the event.
Like their first matchup this season, the Gulls and Condors played scoreless through the opening 40 minutes. Gulls netminder Lukas Dostal started tonight’s game with another save-of-the-year candidate. The Condors attacked the zone on an odd-man rush creating chaos in the slot. After briefly losing the puck, Dostal extended his glove into the wide-open net, robbing Bakersfield of the early lead on the first shot of the game.
"Probably the save of the year so far," said Gulls head coach Roy Sommer. "I've been coaching a long time, and I haven't seen a lot like that. That's what we have in net. We have a great goaltender, that's for sure."
Dostal continued his exceptional play throughout the game, setting a new career-long shutout streak of 116 minutes and 22 seconds (previous record was 114 minutes and 21 seconds). Including tonight, he posted a .945 save percentage (SV%) and a goals-against average of 2.00 in his last five starts.
The first two periods were marked by defense. Most shots came from the perimeter with little traffic in front of the net. San Diego continued their excellence on the penalty kill with another perfect showing, helped by defensemen Josh Healey and Olli Juolevi’s return to the lineup.
The Gulls’ defense led directly to their offensive chances. Forward Jacob Perreault used his stick-checking ability to create instant offense by stealing multiple pucks from the Condors defensemen below the goal line. His consistent pressure frustrated Bakersfield throughout the night. While short-handed, forward Rocco Grimaldi nearly broke the tie.
Grimaldi caught the Bakersfield defense sleeping as they waited to get a fresh power play unit on the ice. He stole the puck at the bottom of the right-wing faceoff dot and quickly fired a shot wide catching opposing goalie Calvin Pickard off guard.
The scoring finally began at the 2:36 mark of the third period with the Condors finding the back of the net on a one-time blast from the blueline. Bakersfield extended their lead one minute later, after a defensive zone breakout resulted in an odd-man rush.
The Gulls needed a quick goal to regain momentum, and after a failed man advantage, the clock was not on their side. They eventually pulled Dostal in a last-ditch effort to put one in the net. They rifled multiple shots from high-threat areas, but could not beat Pickard.
The Gulls return to action on Sunday, November 13th against the Reign.
Regarding the matchup, Sommer said, "We got a tough opponent Sunday against Ontario. They skate, a high-pressure team, and we just got to come out and have a better first."