Gulls, Silver Knights Open Weekend Back-To-Back SeriesApr 23, 2021
The San Diego Gulls open a weekend back-to-back series with the Pacific-Division leading Henderson Silver Knights today at FivePoint Arena (5 p.m. PT; TV: The CW San Diego; RADIO: Gulls Audio Network). San Diego looks for its first win against the American Hockey League's newest franchise, as Henderson enters leading the season series 4-0-0-0.
“They’re big games,” Gulls forward Chase De Leo said when previewing the series following Friday's practice. “They’re a new team in the league and we’ve been around here for a long time so we want to show them that we’re not going to back down. Obviously, we’re pissed off at the way it went in Vegas when we were there last time. They’re here now so kind of a fresh start and we’re going to give it our all for sure.”
Since their last meeting - a close 3-2 loss on Mar. 14 - San Diego went 12-4-0-0, including a season-high seven-game win streak. The team outscored opposing clubs 69-49 over that span, helped by six games with six or more goals.
The Gulls return home after sweeping a back-to-back series with the rival San Jose Barracuda, outscoring their division foe 11-3 in the consecutive victories.
In the team's 6-1 win on Wednesday night, forwards Vinni Lettieri and Andrew Agozzino each scored their 10th goal of the season, becoming the third and fourth Gulls, to reach double digits this season. Trevor Zegras (1-1=2) and Andrew Poturalski (0-2=2) each had multi-point efforts in the win.
On the other end of the ice, goaltender Olle Eriksson Ek posted a stellar performance, stopping 35-of-37 shots for his seventh victory of the season.
“We had good goaltending again,” said De Leo. “We’ve been scoring a lot of goals, which is good for us. Obviously, it’s nice offensively, but we’ve given up a few big chances even though the score looked like it was going our way for the most part. We have to give some credit to our goalies because they did a heck of a job back there making huge saves.”
The duo in net - both Lukas Dostal and Eriksson Ek - continue to provide solid goaltending.
Dostal is currently riding a career high six-game win streak (6-0-0) and ranks second among all AHL goaltenders in saves (595), and second among rookie goalies in wins (11) and fourth in SV% (.917).
Eriksson Ek ranks fourth among rookie goaltenders in GAA (2.57) and fifth in SV% (.916).
After a strong start to its debut season, Henderson enters tonight's game facing some recent struggles, as they look to shake a season-long three-game losing streak on their final road trip of the season.
The Silver Knights scored just one goal in consecutive games this season. Over their last nine games, Henderson averaged just 2.11 goals per game, compared to the 3.55 goals per game they averaged in the previous 20 contests.
With an assist on Cody Glass’ goal in Henderson’s last game, Tomas Jurco picked up six points in his last eight AHL games. Last Thursday marked Jurco’s first game back with the Silver Knights following a five-game stint with their NHL parent team, the Vegas Golden Knights.