Limoges, Gulls Ground EaglesMay 14, 2021
The San Diego Gulls earned a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Eagles tonight at Budweiser Events Center. San Diego ranks third in the Pacific Division (.593) heading into tomorrow’s regular-season finale.
"We wanted to dictate the momentum of the game right off the bat," Gulls assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre said. "I thought we did that. Obviously, getting a goal on our power play to start the game makes things a lot easier. I thought we took the game to Colorado instead of sitting and waiting for them to set the tempo."
Alex Limoges continued his impressive rookie season, posting 1-1=2 points to lead San Diego offensively. Olle Eriksson Ek stopped 25-of-26 shots to earn the win and collected his first American Hockey League assist, the first rookie netminder in team history to earn a helper.
Limoges opened the scoring with his second career power-play goal at 4:34 of the opening frame.
The rookie forward collected a pass from Mahura and raced into the Colorado zone on an odd-man rush with Hunter Drew. Limoges thought about setting up the big defenseman-turned-forward on the backdoor, but ultimately elected to shoot, beating Eagles netminder Justus Annunen with a wrist shot..
"I was kind of just holding on to it," Mahura said when asked about the goal. "Lucky enough, the middle play opened up there and I was able to hit Alex (Limoges), cutting through the D. He had a great finish there and it was a great start for us."
Bryce Kindopp doubled the visitors’ advantage in the second period. The Gulls emerged with the puck following a board battle, with Kindopp skating toward the low point. His low wrist shot found its way through traffic and past a screened Annunen for his ninth goal of the season, giving San Diego a 2-0 edge 7:29 into the middle frame.
Limoges notched the lone assist on the goal. The first-year pro has points in nine of his last 11 games (10-5=15) and leads all American Hockey League rookies in scoring (11-10=21) since joining the Gulls on Mar. 25.
Just over a minute later, San Diego pushed its lead to three as a result of a fortunate bounce. Nikolas Brouillard skated the puck over the blue line before directing a pass towards Chase De Leo in front of the net. The pass never reached its intended target, instead deflecting off two Colorado defenders, Matt Abt and Ian Scheid, before sneaking by Anunnen. Brouillard’s third goal of the season gave San Diego a three-goal cushion with 11:10 to play in the second period.
"We wanted to be better on the forecheck tonight, create more turnovers and more offensive zone time," Lefebvre explained. "I thought our o-zone time was pretty good. Our movement was good with the defense and the forwards."
Mike Vecchione put Colorado on the board at the 9:35 mark of the third period, tipping home a Keaton Middleton point shot for his seventh goal of the season.
Vinni Lettieri capped the scoring with an empty-net goal with 2:11 remaining in regulation. The first-year Gull has goals in five of his last seven games (5-1=6).
San Diego and Colorado wrap up the 2020-21 regular season tomorrow at Budweiser Events Center (6:05 p.m. PT; TV: AHL TV; RADIO: Gulls Audio Network).