Gulls Search For Third Straight WinJan 15, 2020
The Gulls visit Stockton Arena for the first road game of the new decade as they face off against the Stockton Heat tonight (7 p.m. PT, TV: AHLTV, Radio: San Diego Gulls Audio Network). San Diego will look to build off a strong weekend where the club won back-to-back games over Ontario and Iowa, respective 6-1 and 4-3 (OT) victories to now have points in three of the last four (2-1-0-1).
“It’s important to not get too high or too low,” said right wing Kiefer Sherwood. “We had a good weekend but it’s time to move on. We have three big games this week coming up and it starts (tonight). It’s time to move on and prepare for Stockton.”
San Diego (14-15-2-2, 32 pts.) faces the Heat for the sixth time this season as they look for their first win in Stockton this season. The Gulls got off the schneid in the most recent meeting Dec. 21, picking up a 4-3 shootout win over the Heat on home ice, their first of the season series. All-time, the Gulls post a 16-21-3-3 record against the Heat with a 1-4-0-0 record this season. Jack Kopacka recorded a three-point game Dec. 21, scoring two and picking up an assist (2-1=3). The Lapeer, Mich. native sealed the win with his goal in the shootout and has recorded 4-2=6 points, leading the Gulls in scoring this season against the Heat.
The Anaheim Ducks reassigned Troy Terry to San Diego Jan. 10 and has made two appearances since. The right wing recorded two assists (0-2=2) last Friday vs. Iowa, and then notched the game-winning goal and added an assist (1-1=2) in Saturday’s win over the Reign. In the two games, he has posted a +6 rating to push his AHL point total to 45 points in 43 games (17-28=45).
San Diego goaltending tandem of Anthony Stolarz and Kevin Boyle has kept the club in games all season. Over his last six road contests, Stolarz has posted a 4-2-0 record with a 2.52 goals-against average (GAA) and .927 save percentage (SV%). Boyle is currently 3-1-1 his last five games, posting a 2.12 GAA and .940 SV% over that span. The Gulls have three games in a four-day span for the second consecutive week, so both goaltenders could see action in the upcoming three games.
Stockton (23-7-2-3, 51 pts.) rides a three-game winning streak as they enter tonight’s matchup. The Heat rank second in the Pacific Division and fourth in the AHL. Stockton’s special teams excel as they have capitalized on 36-of-133 powerplay opportunities (27.1%), leading the AHL. In contract, the Gulls have killed 21-of-22 penalties the last five games (95.5%) and now rank seventh among AHL clubs in PK% (84.5) while also ranking second among AHL clubs in shorthanded goals, scoring 11 this season (Providence has scored 12).
Additionally, Stockton has successfully killed 134-of-154 penalties (87.0%) to lead the Pacific Division and rank third in the AHL on the penalty kill.
“Up and down their lineup, they’re playing the right way and they have a lot of skill,” said center Alex Broadhurst regarding the Stockton Heat’s game. “They’re well-coached so we know what to expect from them. We’re going to have to play our best to beat them. They’re obviously a good team, they’re up there in the standings. We’re trying to chase them and we’re trying to claw our way back into this.”
Alan Quine ranks second among the Heat in scoring, earning 8-23=31 points in 24 games. The center has tallied points in each of his last six appearances (2-6=8) and has picked up 5-12=17 points and a +10 rating the past 11 games. The Belleville, Ontario native has also played in nine games for the Calgary Flames this season, picking up one goal.
Zac Leslie leads Heat defensemen in scoring, recording 4-19=23 points in 30 appearances. The Ottawa native has recorded nine assists his last six games (0-9=9).
Stockton’s goalies have split time evenly throughout the season. Rookie Artyom Zagidulin is 13-3-2 with a 2.97 GAA and .901 SV% in 20 appearances. The Magnitogorsk, Russia native recorded his only shutout of the season against San Jose in a 2-0 win Jan. 11. Jon Gillies has appeared in 17 games this season, going 10-4-3 with a 2.45 GAA and a .913 SV%.