Gulls Dominate in 5-0 Victory Over WranglersFeb 9, 2024
By Morgan Korovec/SanDiegoGulls.com
The San Diego Gulls sent the Calgary Wranglers back to the locker room quiet after wrangling a commanding 5-0 victory Friday afternoon at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Chase De Leo made history Friday afternoon as he picked up a career-tying 2-2=4 points to give him a total of 63-97=160 points as a Gull. The captain surpassed Sam Carrick (95) for most assists in Gulls AHL history and Corey Tropp (64-93=157) for second-most points in franchise history.
"It was awesome," De Leo said. "Honestly, it was such a good team effort up and down the lineup. Coming off a break, you never really know what's going to happen, but I thought we picked up right where we left off. Talk about keeping the good vibes rolling here after the break and on to the playoffs."
Gulls goaltender Tomas Suchanek was impeccable in net, stopping all 38 Calgary shots for his second shutout of the season. He is the fifth goaltender in Gulls AHL history to record multiple shutouts in a season and the second rookie to achieve the feat (Lukas Dostal, 2 in 2021-22).
"I feel great," Suchanek said. "We had some days off, so we could rest, and I feel great. It was a really fun game, and the boys gave everything in front of me. It was fun."
Just over the five-minute mark of the opening frame, De Leo kicked off the scoring as he buried his eighth goal of the season to give the Gulls the lead early.
At 11:32, Judd Caulfield jumped in on the action, netting his eighth goal of the season to extend San Diego’s lead to two.
The Gulls carried that momentum into the middle frame, as Glenn Gawdin took advantage of the power play to tack on another goal for the Gulls at 5:07 with his 13th of the season.
At 11:30, Josh Lopina joined the fun and slammed a career-high ninth goal of the season through traffic to hand San Diego a commanding four-goal lead.
To launch the final frame, De Leo continued his hot streak on the power play as he unloaded a shot past Oscar Dansk for his second goal of the game.
San Diego and Suchanek managed to keep Calgary off the scoreboard, handing the Gulls their first victory over the Wranglers.
"I'm just trying to do my best every single day," Suchanek said. "For me, the most important thing is to be just getting better and improving every single day. Just getting better and that's the biggest goal for me. The game's going good and that's pretty nice."
Olen Zellweger and Gawdin each tallied two assists on the afternoon.
Pavol Regenda, Andrew Agozzino, and Nathan Gaucher all tacked on an assist.
"If we play that way, I think we're going to be OK most nights," De Leo said. "Great 60-minute effort. Expect the same tomorrow."
The Gulls will look to do it all over again in another round with the Wranglers tomorrow night at the Scotiabank Saddledome (6 p.m. PST).