Dostal Shines In 3-2 Loss To CondorsNov 2, 2022
By Brett Pickler//SanDiegoGulls.com
The Gulls fresh off a shootout win in Abbotsford led by goaltender Lukas Dostal traveled to Bakersfield in the hope of gaining consecutive wins for the first time this season.
San Diego welcomed some new faces to the lineup. Former Gulls captain Sam Carrick made his return the team for a conditioning stint. Forward Pavol Regenda made his debut after playing five games with the Anaheim Ducks and defenseman Jarod Hilderman entered the lineup on a professional tryout contract.
In the first period, the Gulls were able to gain the advantage early, drawing a penalty at the 5:05 mark. The offense moved the puck well and created multiple chances around the crease but could not get the puck to settle.
Just 16 seconds after the Condors' penalty expired, San Diego found themselves on the penalty kill. This did not slow down their attack as they were able to create multiple chances while playing down a man. The penalty kill has continuously been one of the team’s strongest assets, and it remained so tonight as they killed off both of Bakersfield’s power plays.
As the period moved along, the Condors slowly started to control the flow of the game, registering 14 shots in the period. Luckily for the Gulls, Dostal continued to show his excellence in net by making each save.
"I just think they got on top of us real quick," assistant coach Jason Clarke said. "They didn't turn a lot of pucks over in the neutral zone, forced our d(efense) to turn and get on top of us pretty quickly. That was one of their keys for them, for sure."
With the time winding down in the first period, Gulls defenseman Nikolas Brouillard flew out of the defensive zone and found himself 1-on-1 with the goalie. Unfortunately, he was caught from behind and could not register a shot.
The second period started with a rapid firing of shots from both teams. In the first five minutes of the period, both teams took turns trading chances. During this fast start, San Diego created multiple opportunities following an odd man rush but could not convert due to a blocked shot in the crease by a Condors defenseman.
San Diego would continue to push the pace on the rush. Gulls forward Rocco Grimaldi flew down the left boards, driving towards the net. As he reached the faceoff dot, he stopped on a dime and rifled a shot that beat the Bakersfield goalie only to ring loudly off the post and out.
Both teams were creating chances, but neither goalie would break. By the end of the period, Dostal had stopped all 34 shots against him, one of them being a save-of-the-year candidate. Bakersfield had sustained pressure in the San Diego zone. After stopping a flurry of shots, the puck squirted out to the left. Dostal was unable to locate it with the traffic surrounding him, leaving Condors forward Seth Griffith all alone with an open net. At the last second, Dostal threw his stick out towards the puck and denied the tie breaking goal.
The game entered the third period scoreless, but that would not last long. Bakersfield scored 40 seconds into the period, giving themselves the early momentum.
Much like their previous game, surrendering the first goal did not rattle the Gulls. At the 3:11 mark of the period, Regenda deflected a shot from the point and was alone in front to hammer in his own rebound to tie the game at one. This earned the forward his first career American Hockey League goal and point.
The tie was quickly broken as Bakersfield scored twice in 1:34 to gain a 3-1 lead with 14:55 left to play in the period. From here, San Diego began to push the pace in an effort to even the score.
San Diego found themselves on the power play twice within the next two minutes, even gaining a four-minute power play. However, the Gulls struggled to maintain pressure and could not convert.
With the clock winding down, the Gulls battled to tie the game. With under three minutes left in the game Gulls forward Benoit-Olivier Groulx crashed the net and jammed home a rebound off a Jacob Perreault one timer to bring the Gulls within one. Gulls forward Danny O’Regan was credited with an assist giving him a four-game point streak.
With 1:14 remaining in the game, San Diego went to the power play for the sixth time and pulled the goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage. Unfortunately, the Gulls could not find the tying goal and lost 3-2.
Regarding the team’s late push, Hunter Drew said, "I think the big thing is honestly just desperation. Like I just said, it’s early in the year, but you can’t really let too many games slip away and when you see how tight this division is, you’ve just got to push through and push and push and push. Sometimes, you’ve got to be desperate so I think that should be our mindset moving forward as well."
Despite picking up the loss, Dostal recorded 42 saves and marked his second consecutive game with over 40 saves.