Gulls Start Road Trip With Wire-To-Wire Win Over WolvesDec 2, 2023
By Nick Aguilera/SanDiegoGulls.com
The San Diego Gulls started their five-game road trip on the right foot Saturday night, taking down the Chicago Wolves 4-1 at Allstate Arena.
The Gulls scored the first goal of the game and never looked back, as they led from 6:20 mark in the first and didn’t trail all night. San Diego has now earned standings points in three straight contests (2-0-1-0).
Calle Clang was terrific in net, turning away 24-of-25 shots to earn his second win of the season.
"Our goalie was great in moments when we certainly needed him," head coach Matt McIlvane said. "I thought that our first period was very strong. I think our second, we got away from our game at moments, but you know, good teams find a way to bend, don't break and that's what we did. And then we played a pretty mature third period."
San Diego put the pressure on early, earning two successive power plays that gave the Gulls a man advantage for nearly four minutes early in the game. Jacob Perreault cashed in, depositing a slick cross-crease pass from Nikita Nesterenko for his sixth goal of the season.
Perreault also earned an assist on the night, giving him points in back-to-back games (1-2=3) and 2-4=6 points in his last five contests.
"I was looking forward to this road trip for a while because I got a lot of friends and family in town," Perreault said. "So, it meant a lot and obviously we did pretty good."
The second power play unit struck again in the middle frame, as Brayden Tracey netted his second goal of the season to move the lead to two. Tracey also earned an assist on Perreault’s goal, giving him his first multi-point game of the season (1-1=2).
"I'm not sure which one's the second unit but I know that we have two good groups and the Trevor Carrick group got on the board twice for us tonight," McIlvane said. "They made two great little plays through seams. And then being able to attack either with the shot or the backside post like they were, they were great at being able to create something from nothing."
"We were all working pretty hard and same with the other unit," Perreault added. "We got a couple of good bounces and put it in the back of the net. It was really nice."
Nesterenko earned his second primary assist of the night on Tracey’s goal, establishing his first professional point and assist streak (1-4=5 in two games) and his second consecutive multi-assist game.
Chicago pulled within one with a power-play goal of their own midway through the second after Josh Melnick poked home a loose puck for his first of the campaign.
Andrew Agozzino restored the two-goal advantage with three minutes left in the period after he marched into the zone and sniped one past the glove of Keith Kinkaid. All three of his goals have come on the road and he has recorded points in six straight road games (1-5=6).
Olen Zellweger picked up an assist, his 11th of his rookie campaign. He continues to rank second among American Hockey League blueliners in points (3-11=14) and assists.
The Gulls stretched the lead to three after Nathan Gaucher poked his third goal of the season past Kinkaid. Judd Caulfield earned the lone assist, the first of his AHL career.
The Gulls wrap up their four-game season series with the Wolves Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena (1 p.m. PST) before heading north to Milwaukee for their first game of the season against the Admirals on Wednesday (5 p.m. PST).