Gulls Burned Late By WranglersApr 7, 2023
By AJ Manderichio/SanDiegoGulls.com
The San Diego Gulls fell to the Calgary Wranglers 4-2 in the team’s penultimate home game at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
Matthew Phillips – the American Hockey League’s leading goal scorer - tallied the game-winning goal with 3:37 remaining in regulation as Calgary pushed its league-best point streak to a 13th game. Ben Jones posted 1-1=2 points and Dustin Wolf stopped 23 shots for Calgary, who sits atop the league standings with 102 points.
Glenn Gawdin and Dylan Sikura scored in the loss for the Gulls. Calle Clang, making his first start on home ice, stopped 30 shots to suffer his first loss of the season.
San Diego’s power play stayed red hot, scoring the game’s first goal at 9:11 of the opening frame.
The Gulls worked the puck down low, with Chase Priskie and Chase De Leo moving it back and forth. The Gulls captain lost an edge, working the puck to an open Gawdin as he fell to the ice. He didn’t miss, swiping a one-timed shot through Wolf for the early lead.
San Diego has 10 power-play goals in their last 10 games (10-for-35), recording six man-advantage tallies on their last 11 opportunities. Gawdin accounts for four of those 10 goals.
In addition, Priskie collected his third point in his last two games The defenseman has 7-6=13 points in his first 13 games as a Gull, notching the most goals and points among San Diego skaters since his debut with the team on Mar. 4.
Calgary evened the score in the second period on a Ben Jones shorthanded goal, his third of the season. He sits second in the American Hockey League in shorthanded tallies.
Skating at 4-on-4, Sikura struck to put the Gulls ahead just past the halfway mark of the period.
A Calgary turnover sent the Gulls ahead on a 4-on-2 rush, with Sikura carrying the puck through the neutral zone. He found Drew Helleson at the blue line, and the defenseman moved it to Michael Del Zotto near the side of the net. The veteran sent a pass across to Sikura, who’s shot beat the outstretched arm of Wolf for his 18th goal of the season. It marks the fifth point in the last three games for Sikura.
Ilya Solovyov brought the teams even with 2:31 left in the period, sending a shot through traffic and past Clang for his fourth goal of the season.
Phillips gave Calgary their first lead late in the third period, stealing the puck in the offensive zone and snapping a shot through the legs of Clang for the tiebreaking tally.
After a strong push to find the game-tying goal, Brent Sutter iced the win for Calgary, hitting the empty net with nine seconds left in the contest.
The two teams meet tomorrow in San Diego’s final home game of the season, the team’s annual Fan Appreciation Night. Puck drop is 7 p.m. PT.