Dostal Shines In Defeat

Dostal Sets Season-High In Saves, Gulls Fall To Eagles

Nov 30, 2022

By Brett Pickler/

San Diego came into tonight’s game looking to snap its three-game losing streak against a tough opponent, but ended up falling, 3-1, to the Colorado Eagles.

Colorado entered the game with one of the best offenses in the league. Gulls goaltender Lukas Dostal was busy in the opening period, facing 19 shots. His best save came from a partial breakaway, following a turnover at the defensive blue line. He cut off the angle and made the save.

“You know, I've been playing lately a lot of games, so I actually like it,” Dostal said, “It's pretty good; I'm just just trying to get to myself and prepare from game to game to game and, you know, just doing my job, trying to give a chance every night for the boys and that's all I can do.”

However, the Gulls did surrender the lead after a defensive zone turnover 11:16 seconds into the period. This did not faze the team, as on the next shift they were able to reestablish control in the Eagles’ end. San Diego regained some momentum but could not find the equalizer before the end of the period.

The Gulls came out flying to start the second period. Wingers Jacob Perreault and Brayden Tracey started the attack for the team. Both players used their speed and puck skills to create scoring chances. Tracey found a lane and drove hard to the net, nearly beating the Colorado goaltender on the blocker side.

Their quick start continued as the Gulls went on the power play. San Diego’s play with the man advantage has been a strong note of late, five power-play goals in their last five games. On this opportunity, they continued their success with a wrist shot from right wing Rocco Grimaldi. He slotted the puck low glove from the faceoff dot after making a deke to create a shooting lane. This goal ties him for the league lead in power play goals (PPG) with seven.

The momentum suddenly shifted back to the Eagles when the Gulls conceded a penalty shortly after tying the game. Colorado managed to regain control in the offensive zone and create numerous chances. The Gulls did kill off the penalty but found themselves down a man again. This time, Colorado did not let the opportunity pass them by, scoring on a one-time blast from the right faceoff circle.

Both teams would skate 4-on-4 later in the period. Each team had their fair share of chances with the extra space on the ice. Colorado had a pair of odd man rushes that the Gulls shut down. Tracey nearly tied the game on a breakaway bid, but he could not slip the puck five hole.

At the end of the period, the Gulls produced a flurry of chances. Tracey nearly tied the game on a back door pass that was intercepted by the stick of a Colorado defender. Defenseman Olli Juolevi slipped the puck between the legs of an Eagles’ forward while walking the blue line to create a shooting lane and a rebound chance in front, but the Gulls couldn’t find the tying goal.

The third period started with the Gulls trailing 2-1. Needing a goal, they attacked Colorado from the drop of the puck, but the teams continued to trade chances. Any Colorado chances were shut down promptly by Dostal each time.

Just before the halfway mark of the period, the Gulls took an offensive zone penalty, making the comeback effort more challenging. Colorado appeared to be more conservative on this man advantage, not wanting to make a mistake and give San Diego a chance. The Eagles produced two high danger chances in front of the crease, but Dostal flashed the glove denying both chances.

San Diego pulled Dostal with 2:02 left in the game to gain the extra skater. They controlled the puck in the offensive zone, shooting for redirects to create chaos and confusion in front of the net. Colorado would take a penalty with 34 seconds left in the game, leading to a 6-on-4 advantage for the Gulls. San Diego lost the faceoff, and the Eagles iced the game with an empty net goal for a 3-1 final.

“You look at the last four games, what's been 2-1 for the other team going into the third, the goaltender has given us a chance to win,” head coach Roy Sommer said. “And we've given him no offensive support.”

Dostal finished the game with a season-high 49 saves on 51 shots. Throughout the game, he fought off the Colorado attack, giving his team the chance to comeback and tie the game. In his last 10 games, the 22-year-old netminder recorded a .937 save percentage (SV%) and a 2.07 goals-against average (GAA).

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