Gulls Cool Heat for Third Straight Win
Sherwood records two goals, Terry extends point streakJan 15, 2020
Kiefer Sherwood scored two goals as the Gulls beat the Stockton Heat 4-1 Wednesday at Stockton Arena to push their win streak to three games. San Diego has also picked up points in four of their last five contests (3-1-0-1) and six of the last nine (5-3-0-1).
Anthony Stolarz picked up his 12th win of the season after stopping 36-of-37 shots. With the road win, the goaltender improved to improve to 5-2-0 with a 2.30 goals-against average and .930 save percentage his last seven road starts.
San Diego negated all four Stockton power plays and have killed 25 of the last 26 penalties the last six games (96.2%). The Gulls have also scored their 12 shorthanded goals over the last 28 contests, with the penalty kill nearly matching the opposition power play 12-15 in that span (93-of-108 success rate on the penalty kill, 86.1%). Overall, San Diego’s penalty kill leads the AHL with a goal differential of -8 (20 power-play goals against, 12 shorthanded goals) and ranks fifth overall in PK% (85.0).
Sherwood scored the game’s opening goal 9:09 into the first period while teammate Blake Pietila served a minor penalty for high-sticking. Sherwood took control of the puck as Simon Benoit poked it forward off the boards, entered the Stockton zone and fired a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle over the blocker of Heat netminder Jon Gillies to mark his second career shorthanded goal.
The goal marked the San Diego’s 12th shorthanded goal this season, tying the Providence Bruins for the league lead. The unassisted score also broke Sherwood’s six-game scoreless drought.
The first period was brought to an unexpected half with 2:25 remaining in the frame due to an issue with the playing surface. Players went to the locker room for the 18-minute intermission with the added time from the first period to be played prior to the second. The players returned to the ice to finish the 2:25 of the first period and immediately set up to begin the second frame. The Gulls led 1-0 after the first 20 minutes despite being outshot 11-4.
Stockton tied the game 5:58 into the second period when rookie left wing Mason Morelli scored his third goal of the season. Alex Gallant threw a shot on net, but Morelli took the rebound and wrapped around the net to capitalize on an empty net.
The Gulls retook the lead on an impressive backhander by Brent Gates Jr. just 2:21 after Morelli’s tally. Justin Kloos helped break up a play in the neutral zone and Troy Terry carried the puck into Stockton territory. Terry was pushed off the puck, but Gates Jr. gained control of it and spun into a backhand shot that beat Gillies high on the glove side for his second goal in as many games. Terry earned the lone assist on the play, extending his point and assist streaks to three games (1-4=5).
Through two periods of play, San Diego held a 2-1 lead, but continued to trail in shots 25-13 as Stolarz held strong in net.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net and San Diego held a 2-1 lead late in the third period. Stockton pulled Gillies for an extra attacker in a last-minute attempt to tie the score but Sherwood broke up a zone entry, stole the puck in the neutral zone and fired it into the empty net from the red line with 37 seconds remaining to mark his first career two-goal game.
Stockton again pulled Gillies from for the extra attacker in the final stages, but a Sam Carrick faceoff win in the defensive zone allowed Alex Broadhurst to add his fifth goal of the season with one second left in the game. Jani Hakanpaa added his third assist the last two games on the final goal.
San Diego returns home to host the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday, Jan. 17 at Pechanga Arena San Diego (7 p.m.).