Gulls Fall Flat Against Firebirds

Gulls Fall 8-1 To Firebirds

Dec 16, 2022

By Brett Pickler/

The San Diego Gulls lost 8-1 to the Coachella Valley Firebirds at Pechanga Arena San Diego.

The Gulls started the game quick, scoring a goal nine seconds into the contest. Center Justin Kirkland took the puck along the left boards looking for a backdoor pass on a 2-on-1. He fired a pass, but before it could reach right wing Pavol Regenda’s stick, it was deflected into the net by a diving Firebird defender. This marks the second fastest goal in Gulls American Hockey League (AHL) franchise history.

San Diego continued to pressure Coachella Valley and were rewarded with two power plays in the period. On the first man advantage, the Gulls created chances but could not convert. However, on their second opportunity, a turnover at the blue line allowed the Firebirds to attack on a 2-on-1. Left wing Max McCormick wristed the puck low glove to even the score at one. Coachella Valley used this goal as momentum and took control of the period. They added a second goal at the 14:45 mark when right wing Jesper Froden used his speed to convert on a breakaway chance.

The second period began with the Firebirds continuing to pile on offense. They scored four goals within the first 10 minutes of the period. Their first goal came from a right wing Austin Poganski one-time blast on an odd-man rush. Center Luke Henman made the score 4-1 after he converted on a defensive zone turnover with a backhand snipe. Right wing John Hayden extended the Firebirds lead to four goals on a one time shot from the left faceoff circle. Froden picked up his second goal of the game on a breakaway bid making it 6-1.

In the third period, Coachella Valley added two more goals to make it 8-1 with Froden completing his hat-trick on the eighth goal. Former Gull Brogan Rafferty finished the night with three assists for the Firebirds. The game ended 8-1 with the Gulls extending their losing streak to ten consecutive losses.

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