Gulls Lose 4-1 To Silver KnightsDec 30, 2022
By Brett Pickler/SanDiegoGulls.com
The San Diego Gulls fell to the Henderson Silver Knights 4-1 at the Dollar Loan Center.
Both teams started the game with a chip on their shoulder following the festivities two nights before, a physical 4-3 San Diego win at Pechanga Arena. Early in the game, the Silver Knights tried to enter the zone but were deemed offsides. Center Patrick Guay decided to fire the puck into the net after the whistle, drawing the ire of right wing Pavol Regenda. This engagement between the two led to each team skating down a man.
While the teams played 4-on-4, the Gulls utilized their speed to create offense. Right wing Rocco Grimaldi and defenseman Nikolas Brouillard generated multiple chances with their skating ability. Grimaldi managed to get a shot on net after powering through a defender on a tough angle.
The momentum turned towards the Silver Knights when the teams returned to even strength. San Diego conceded a penalty, allowing Henderson to set up in their zone. The Gulls did kill off the penalty largely in part to goaltender Olle Eriksson Ek. He made multiple saves, but none better than when he denied a one-time bid from the right faceoff circle after sliding to the post.
Shortly after the penalty, Henderson found the back of the net. They won an offensive zone faceoff and left wing Gage Quinney rifled the puck top shelf to open up the scoring. The Silver Knights made it a 2-0 game 1:48 later, when center Mason Primeau converted a chance in front. Henderson had one more chance to extend their lead later in the period, but Eriksson Ek denied them on the breakaway.
San Diego entered the second period down by two goals and needing to get started quick to keep themselves in the game. However, they took a penalty at the 4:11 second mark. Luckily, Henderson committed a slashing penalty five seconds later in the offensive zone. Both teams skated 4-on-4 once more, but neither team could find the back of the net with the extra ice.
Special teams continued to be the theme of the period as each team traded man advantages. Henderson nearly extended their lead on a power-play rush, but Eriksson Ek once again made a huge save to keep his team in the game. This save shifted the momentum and right wing Evan Weinger broke free from the defense on the next shift and scored a shorthanded goal.
Trailing by just one, San Diego entered the third period looking to tie the game. Unfortunately, a penalty within the first minute made this goal much harder. The Silver Knights managed to convert on the power play courtesy of center Connor Ford. Henderson continued to build their lead later in the period. At the 11:50 mark, defenseman Kaedan Korczak blasted a shot from the point making it 4-1.
The Gulls would get a chance to cut into the lead with a late power play, but the Silver Knights penalty kill ended the game strong, securing the win.