Gulls Go For Franchise-Best Fifth Straight Win To Open A SeasonFeb 14, 2021
By AJ Manderichio/SanDiegoGulls.com
The San Diego Gulls look to continue their perfect start when they host the Colorado Eagles in the second and final game of a back-to-back weekend series (4 p.m. PT, TV: Fox 5 San Diego, AHL TV; Radio: Gulls Audio Network) at FivePoint Arena. The Gulls are 4-0-0-0 to open the season, tying the inaugural 2015-16 team for the best start to a season in franchise history.
San Diego extended its win streak with a 3-2 win over Colorado last night. The victory marked the Gulls 100th win on home ice in club history (100-54-9-5). They’re the first Pacific Division club to accomplish the feat since the division’s inception in 2015.
San Diego leads the division in all-time home wins (100), points (214) and point percentage (.637).
Vinni Lettieri – making his Gulls debut – scored twice in the third period to power the Gulls past the Eagles. The Excelsior, MN native is just the fourth player in team history to score two goals in his Gulls debut.
“It’s a real good group,” Lettieri said following the win. “I’ve been keeping up with the box scores over the last few games. A lot of good talent down here and I played with a great line tonight. Stolie played unbelievable He’s been working his butt off every day and every practice, so it was showing off there on a couple of big saves. I obviously played with a good line and it was a good win.”
Anthony Stolarz – part a trio of players assigned to San Diego before yesterday’s game – also made his regular-season debut, stopping 31 of 33 shots for his first win of the season.
“It was a long time coming,” he said. “Just to get back on the ice, especially with a lot of the guys from last year and seeing guys from over the summer, getting to go out there and battle with them was a lot of fun. Tonight, I was trying to get my feet underneath me and do anything I can to help the team get the two points.”
The night also represented a significant milestone for head coach Kevin Dineen, who picked up his 300th AHL win.
“I’ve worked with a lot of fabulous people and this year is no different,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to be around these guys every day. We work hard, but boy we have fun. Nice to hear that I reached a bit of a milestone there.”
Sam Carrick scored a power-play goal in the win, moving past Corey Tropp to become the franchise leader in scoring. The team’s captain collected 73-85=158 points in his five seasons with the Gulls.
“There’s no surprise he wears our ‘C’, and that’s not because of tenure or stats,” Dineen said. “It’s because of his character. When you have eight rookies in your lineup, you want to surround them with great quality people. You can’t do much better than Sam.”
Tonight is the second contest of a six-game series between the Gulls and Eagles. San Diego owns a 9-5-1-0 mark all-time against Colorado, including a 7-2-0-0 record at home. Including last night’s win, the Gulls have won five of the last six meetings, including its last games at home.
Rookie netminder Peyton Jones made his AHL debut last night, stopping 35 of 38 shots in the loss. Colorado captain Greg Pateryn and Ryan Wagner scored in the team’s season debut.