Downed in the Desert

Gulls Fall 2-1 to Firebirds

Apr 14, 2024

By Morgan Korovec/    

A Sunday afternoon showdown ended in heartbreaking fashion as the San Diego Gulls dropped a 2-1 decision to the Coachella Valley Firebirds at Acrisure Arena. 

Less than three minutes into the opening frame, Jacob Melanson and Nathan Gaucher exchanged pleasantries to set the tone for a heated afternoon.   

It was San Diego who opened the scoring just under twenty seconds into the middle frame as Drew Helleson deposited a seeing-eye shot through traffic, collecting his fourth goal of the season. Helleson now has goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. 

Coachella responded at 5:44 as Cameron Hughes evened the game with a wraparound goal which would be the only action in-net to end the second.  

The final frame saw both sides consistently clawing to break the tie, which wouldn’t be accomplished until 17:33 by the stick of Jani Nyman, handing the Firebirds their first lead of the game which would be enough to secure the win.  

Pavol Regenda and Andrew Agozzino each recorded an assist on Helleson’s goal. Agozzino leads the team with 38 assists and now has back-to-back 60-point seasons. 

Calle Clang delivered a solid performance in-net, stopping all but two of 22 shots on the night.  

The Gulls will be back in action for another feathered faceoff as they will take on the Colorado Eagles in back-to-back clashes at Blue Arena, kicking off on Tuesday, April 16 (7:05 p.m.). 

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