Radical, Dude: Gulls Dominate Reign on 80s Night
Sam Carrick records three-point night, ties club record with a goal in his sixth straight gameJan 11, 2020
The Gulls recorded five unanswered goals to conclude a season-long five-game homestand with a 6-1 win over the Ontario Reign at Pechanga Arena San Diego. In their first-ever 80’s Night, Sam Carrick scored for the sixth straight game to set a new career high for goals in consecutive games (8-2=10, +10).
San Diego received goals from Carrick, Brent Gates Jr., Troy Terry, Brendan Guhle, Justin Kloos and Antoine Morand. Carrick (1-2=3), Terry (1-1=2), Blake Pietila (two assists) and Jani Hakanpaa (two assists) all recorded multi-point games. Kevin Boyle made a season-high 43 saves (43-of-44) to pick up his third win and improve to 3-1-1 with a 2.12 goals-against average (GAA) and .940 save percentage (SV%) his last five games.
“I got pretty comfortable there early,” said Boyle. “The guys in front of me did a great job. They cleared out any rebounds that were there. That’s been my job, to steal a couple here and there and let the guys in front to go out and do their jobs.”
The Gulls kicked off the themed night with the third fastest goal to begin a game just 22 seconds into the first period when Gates opened the scoring.
“Getting a goal on your first shift, you feel good and then you have to come down from it, and play the rest of the game hard and play it well,” said Gates Jr. “I thought I did a pretty good job of that, coming back to earth and playing a solid game. It was really fun getting a first start in a while. It couldn’t have been any better.”
A minute after the goal, a pass around the boards and out of the Gulls zone turned into a breakaway chance for Ontario’s leading scorer Martin Frk. Hakanpaa raced down the ice to break up the play, knocking Frk to the ice in the process. The play was deemed a penalty and Ontario was awarded a penalty shot. Frk attempted a low shot on Boyle and found the back of the net to tie the game at the 1:27 mark of the first period.
“I knew that I was locked in, even on the penalty shot,” said Boyle. “I kind of read it, but the guy put it in the perfect area.”
It marked the eighth penalty shot against in franchise history, the first in 2019-20. Boyle has faced three career penalty shots, stopping 2-of-3.
San Diego regained the lead when Terry scored with 4:09 remaining in the opening period. Receiving a pass from Carrick, Terry’s wrist shot went bar-down for his first of the season.
Despite being outshot 15-11 in the first 20 minutes, the Gulls held a one-goal lead heading into the locker room.
Carrick extended the Gulls lead to 3-1 with a shorthanded goal 3:14 into the middle stanza. With Wideman in the penalty box on for roughing, Carrick took a rebound from a Hakanpaa point shot and his second attempt bounced behind Matthew Villalta to set a new career-long goal streak and tie the club record set previous by Adam Cracknell (five games from Jan. 9-21, 2019; 6-4=10).
“He’s a hockey player,” Gulls head coach Kevin Dineen said about Carrick. “He goes out there and he plays every shift. He kills penalties and you see the points. It’s always nice to see those offensive contributions, but there’s so many areas that go unnoticed and those little details of the game that make a big difference in the outcome.”
On the ensuing possession following the Carrick goal, Boyle robbed Mikey Eyssimont of a goal on a backhand shot in the crease to maintain the 3-1 advantage, his most noteworthy save of the evening.
The Gulls extended the lead to 4-1 with 8:01 left in the second period on a goal by Guhle. Chris Mueller extended his point streak to three games (1-2=3) with an assist on the play. Kloos extended the lead at 6:33 of the final period to mark his eighth point the last eight contests (5-3=8). Hakanpaa and Pietila each earned assists for their second helpers of the night.
Morand capped off the scoring with an unassisted goal, his sixth this season, with 5:43 remaining in the game.
“Anytime we play Ontario, it’s always a big game,” said Carrick. “They’re above us right now in the standings. We’re chasing them. From here on out, every game is going to be huge. We have a playoff mindset right now and it’s only January. I’m sure everyone has the same attitude at this point because it is so tight, but we’re looking to get any win we can.”
San Diego negated all six Ontario power plays and have killed 21 of the last 22 penalties the last five games (95.5%). San Diego scored its 11th shorthanded goal of the season, tied for the AHL lead with Providence. The Gulls also lead the AHL with seven shorthanded goals at home. The Gulls have scored their 11 shorthanded goals over the last 27 contests, with the penalty kill nearly matching the opposition power play 11-15 in that span (91-of-106 success rate on the penalty kill, 85.5%). Overall, San Diego’s penalty kill leads the AHL with a goal differential of -9 (20 power-play goals against, 11 shorthanded goals).
San Diego will visit the Stockton Heat at Stockton Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 15 before returning home to host the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday, Jan. 17 at Pechanga Arena San Diego (7 p.m.).