Gulls Can't Navigate The Wild

Gulls Open Weekend Series In Iowa With A Loss

Apr 1, 2023

By AJ Manderichio/

The San Diego Gulls fell to the Iowa Wild 5-1 today at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Nic Petan led the charge for the Wild, recording a season-high 2-2=4 points to extend Iowa’s point streak to a fifth game. Marco Rossi collected three assists while Joe Hicketts and Nick Swaney chipped in 1-1=2 points. Steven Fogarty posted a multi-assist game as well, as the offense supported a 17-save effort from Wild netminder Jesper Wallstedt.

Glenn Gawdin scored a power-play goal – his fifth of the season – as San Diego’s losing streak hit seven games. Gage Alexander stopped 17 of 22 shots in 44:47 before being replaced by Calle Clang in the third period.

After San Diego dictated play for a majority of the first period, the Wild found the back of the net late, as Hicketts broke the ice with under two minutes remaining in the frame. He crashed down the boards and beat Alexander, converting on a rebound of Swaney’s shot for his sixth goal of the season.

The Gulls thought they tied the game early in the second period on a Chase De Leo shorthanded goal. The Gulls captain snuck behind the Iowa defense and battled through a Rossi hook, sending a shot off the crossbar. At first glance, it appeared the puck snuck over the goal line, but a review determined the shot did not go in.

The play still helped the Gulls find the scoreboard, as Gawdin’s power-play tally came on the Rossi minor infraction.

Chase Priskie and Michael Del Zotto moved the puck around the zone, with the latter firing a one-timed shot toward the net. Gawdin deflected the puck, beating Iowa goaltender Jesper Wallstedt for his 15th goal of the season.

The Gulls registered seven power-play goals over their last seven games, operating at a 24.1% success rate (7-for-29) over the span.

Iowa took over from there, scoring thrice in the final 8:58 of the period to take a commanding three-goal lead. Swaney kicked off their run, netting his second point of the game at 8:58 of the period.

The Wild power play took over later in the frame, pushing across two quick man-advantage tallies. Petan collected both goals – one on a 5-on-3 advantage, the other on a 5-on-4 power play – giving him 3-5=8 points in four games against the Gulls this season.

After Mitchell Balmas scored to make it 5-1 at 4:47 of the final frame, Gulls head coach Roy Sommer made a change in net, swapping Clang for Alexander. It marked the rookie goaltender’s American Hockey League debut. Assigned by Anaheim to San Diego earlier this week, Clang went went 22-15-0 with two shutouts, a 2.52 goals-against average (GAA) and .906 save percentage (SV%) in 43 career games with Rogle of the SHL. In 2022-23, the 6-2, 190-pound goaltender went 12-10-0 with one shutout, a 2.69 GAA and .901 SV% in 25 appearances with Rogle.

Clang stopped all four shots he saw in his 13:48 of relief.

The two teams will meet for the fourth and final time in the 2022-23 season tomorrow. Puck drop is 1 p.m. PDT on AHL TV and the Gulls Audio Network.

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