Gulls Can't Tame Wolves In 6-4 LossNov 24, 2023
By Nick Aguilera & Morgan Korovec/SanDiegoGulls.com
After a solid start, the San Diego Gulls distributed a complete effort in tonight’s down-to-the-wire battle against the Chicago Wolves, but ultimately fell 6-4 Friday night at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
"I really liked our first maybe ten minutes or so," head coach Matt McIlvane said. "We scored, took that penalty, got ourselves down three against five. We get through that part, then they’re able to come around the power play, but from that point we lost a little momentum in the first period. Push back pretty nice in the second.
"I think we did a lot of things well, felt like I think we had two of their goals went right off our sticks in front of the net and you know, felt like easily preventable things. You know, that went in for them today. I think we did a lot well. Of course, there’s always room to improve."
Ben King was awarded his first career penalty shot at 7:25 in the first and converted against Keith Kinkaid. It was the seventh successful penalty shot in team history (7-for-16) and second on the season (Jacob Perreault vs. Ludovic Waeber, Nov. 4 @ CHA; goal).
Chris Terry tied it up for Chicago on the tail end of a 5-on-3 power play minutes later, but it took a lengthy review to confirm. Rocco Grimaldi gave Chicago the lead with a minute and a half left in the period.
The second period was where things got rowdy, as the two teams combined for six goals in the frame.
San Diego evened it up with a goal by Pavol Regenda, netting his team-leading tenth goal of this season with 7:43 on the clock in the second.
Chicago didn’t waste any time getting the lead back, as less than 30 seconds later, Terry scored his second of the game, again on the power play.
Olen Zellweger then wanted in on the action, depositing his third goal of the season 29 seconds later to make it a tie game again. Zellweger also picked up an assist on the night and has recorded multiple points in back-to-back games (0-2=2, Nov. 21 @ SJ) and 1-6=7 points his last five games.
"Olen’s got a lot of high-end skill," McIlvane said. "I thought he had good jump in his legs today and he defended hard as well. It's good to see him get rewarded."
Chicago got a lucky bounce with five minutes left in the middle frame to go back on top, as a cross-crease pass bounced off King’s stick and into the net. Cole Schneider was credited with the goal.
Cavan Fitzgerald scored moments later to stretch the lead to two.
Jacob Perreault cut the lead back down with a rocket from the blue line, his fifth of the season. Perreault also netted an assist for his second multi-point effort (1-1=2). He has 1-2=3 points over the past two games.
Nathan Sucese scored Chicago’s sixth goal of the night in the third to put the game to rest.
Colton White, Glenn Gawdin and Robert Hagg all picked up assists on the night. Calle Clang made 18 saves in net.
The Gulls will return to home ice tomorrow night, Saturday, Nov. 25 to wrap up the weekend’s back-to-back contests against the Wolves at Pechanga Arena San Diego (6 p.m. PST).
"We know they’ve got some high-end skill, which we saw tonight," McIlvane said. "You know, I think that’s a similar team to what we’re prepared for. And you know, we’re thankful for another opportunity tomorrow."