Gulls Kick off Weekend Series in Grand RapidsJan 24, 2020
The Gulls kick off a back-to-back series tonight as they travel to Grand Rapids for the first time since inaugural season to face off against the Griffins at Van Andel Arena (4 p.m. PT, TV: AHLTV, Radio: San Diego Gulls Audio Network). The Gulls enter tonight collecting points in six of the last eight games (5-2-0-1) and nine of their last 13 overall (7-4-1-1), as they come off a loss following a five-game winning streak.
Tonight marks the fifth of eight contests the Gulls will face a Central Division opponent in 201920 (Grand Rapids and Iowa four times each), with San Diego posting a 1-2-0-1 record this season. All- time, the Gulls have posted a 27-10-4-1 record (.702%) against the Central Division, earning points in 32 of 42 games, the highest points percentage among Pacific Division clubs against Central opponents.
The Gulls (17-16-2-2, 38 pts.) matchup with the Griffins for the third time this season as they look for their first win of the campaign against Grand Rapids. San Diego dropped the first meeting on Dec. 11 in a 4-3 loss but collected a point in a shootout loss on Dec. 17. The Gulls post an all-time 1-2-0-1 record vs. the Griffins, dropping their only game in Grand Rapids on Nov. 20, 2015.
Broadhurst enters the matchup collecting a point in each of the previous contests vs. the Griffins (1-1=2). Through 32 appearances, the New Lenox, Ill. native has tallied 5-8=13 points, including a club-tying three shorthanded goals.
Five San Diego Gulls skaters are returning to their home state this weekend, including Brent Gates Jr., Jack Kopacka, Max Jones, Scott Moldenhauer and Corey Tropp. Among those four, Grand Rapids, Mich. native Gates returns home to play in the arena that he grew up watching hockey. Gates recorded his first goal of the season against the Griffins Dec. 11, and has since tallied 2-1=3 points.
“It’s pretty surreal, coming back to the rink this morning,” said Gates Jr. regarding his return to Grand Rapids. “Obviously having been here plenty of times to watch the games, but it’s way different coming here and putting the gear on and coming on the ice. I’ve never been able to do that before. It brings back a ton of memories, but at the same time it feels like a new experience for me, new chapter, playing pro hockey. It’s just a beautiful place to be.”
Anthony Stolarz and Kevin Boyle have been splitting time in net as of late. Stolarz, appearing in 26 games, has posted a 13-10-3 record With a 2.80 goals against average (GAA) and .917 save percentage (SV%) this season. Boyle (4-6-1) has appeared in 13 games with a 2.85 GAA and .912 SV%.
Grand Rapids (19-19-2-4, 44 pts.) enter tonight on a seven-game point streak (5-0-0-2) after a 4-3 shootout win Wednesday over Iowa.
Chris Terry leads the Griffins in scoring, collecting 17-24=41 points ranking toed for fifth among AHL leaders in scoring. In his second season with Grand Rapids, Terry has recorded 13 multi-point games including four three-point games.
Evgeny Svechnikov recorded points in both of the previous contests between the clubs, picking up an assist in the first meeting (Dec. 11) and netting a goal in the next matchup (Dec. 17). The Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia native has 6-9=15 points in 34 games.
Calvin Pickard has been the main presence in net, appearing in 24 games this season and was recently assigned to the Griffins by the Detroit Red Wings. The netminder posts a 12-8-3 record this season with a 2.90 GAA and .902 SV%.