Gulls Come Up Just Short Against Silver KnightsMar 14, 2021
The San Diego Gulls fired a season-high 50 shots on goal but could only solve Oscar Dansk twice, falling 3-2 to the Henderson Silver Knights today at FivePoint Arena.
Dansk earned his fourth win of the season with a career-high 48 saves, matching the most stops by a goaltender against the Gulls in club history. Jimmy Schuldt, Danny O’Regan and Jack Dugan notched multi-point efforts to lead the division-leading Silver Knights to victory.
“Obviously, we weren’t happy with our compete level and our effort last night,” Chase De Leo said. “We felt we got outworked. We had a good response tonight. I think that first period is our standard. I think we set a standard and that’s how we have to play every night. They’re a good team, obviously, I think they’re the top team in the league. We competed hard tonight. We battled hard tonight. I think we had more than enough chances to win the game tonight.
“The harder we work and the more we compete, we’re going to get those bounces going our way. Like I said, I like our effort tonight. It’s never fun to lose, it sucks, but it was a step in the right direction.”
Sam Carrick tallied a goal and assist for the Gulls, who dropped their fourth consecutive game. San Diego netminder Olle Eriksson Ek made 24 saves in his second career start.
Henderson opened the scoring with a power-play goal 4:36 into the first period. After a scramble in front of the net in which Eriksson Ek made several consecutive saves, Ryan Murphy found the loose puck to score his fourth goal of the season.
Henderson’s early lead was short-lived, however, as Andrew Poturalski pulled the Gulls even just 19 seconds later. Carrick directed a shot on goal and Poturalski went hard after it, burying the rebound opportunity for his second goal in as many nights.
Poturalski, who owns points in four of his last five games (2-3=5), leads the Gulls in scoring and assists.
The score remained tied after the initial period despite San Diego continuing to maintain offensive pressure. The Gulls posted 22 shots in the opening frame, the most in any period for San Diego this season.
“It was certainly a more simple game,” head coach Kevin Dineen explained. “Pucks were getting to the net, and we could’ve used a few more bodies at the net maybe to get an initial screen and look for some rebounds.”
The Silver Knights reclaimed the lead early in the second period as O’Regan hammered home a one-timer off a setup pass from Dylan Sikura.
Henderson doubled its lead three minutes into the third period, scoring an insurance goal off an offensive zone faceoff. Gage Quinney won the draw to Dugan, who set up Schuldt for a point shot that snuck through traffic in front of the net and past Eriksson Ek. Schuldt’s second goal of the season gave the visitors a 3-1 lead at the 3:33 mark of the final period.
Carrick pulled the Gulls within one in the waning moments of the third period. Chase De Leo circled behind the net looking for a passing lane before spotting Carrick, who quickly fired a shot past Dansk, cutting the Silver Knights’ lead to 3-2 with 30 seconds remaining in regulation.
San Diego would be unable to find the game-tying goal in the final 30 seconds however as Henderson secured a 3-2 win.
“Anytime you’re in a funk, points on the board make all the difference for you,” Dineen said. “Not to get points is disheartening, but we did like the tone and tenor of our game tonight.”
The Gulls visit the Tucson Roadrunners for a back-to-back set next weekend at Tucson Arena.