Gulls Look To Split Series With CondorsJan 4, 2020
The San Diego Gulls aim to split their weekend series with the Bakersfield Condors tonight as the two teams meet in the second game of a back-to-back series at Pechanga Arena San Diego (7 p.m. PT, TV: AHL TV, RADIO: Gulls Audio Network). The Condors currently lead the season series, taking two of the three matchups from the Gulls.
Tonight also marks San Diego's first Community Night, where all fans in attendance will help distribute $35,000 in San Diego Gulls Foundation funds to 10 local nonprofit organizations. Upon entry to Pechanga Arena San Diego, fans will receive San Diego Gulls Foundation “Gulls Bucks” they should donate to the non-profit of their choice on the concourse.
San Diego dropped last night's contest to Bakersfield 3-2. The team fell behind early, allowing two goals in the first 2:33 of the game. Tyler Benson scored first, putting the Gulls behind just 24 seconds into regulation. Evan Bouchard found the back of the net less than two minutes later, wiring a wrist shot through traffic for his fifth goal of the season.
“We didn’t look like we were prepared, so that gets hung on the coaching staff,” said Gulls head coach Kevin Dineen following the loss. “You have to have your team prepared for the opening puck drop. To get down 2-0 that quickly is unacceptable in our situation. We dug ourselves a big hole and we were unable to come out of it.”
San Diego chipped away, pulling within one later in the period. Justin Kloos scored his seventh goal of the season on a nifty deflection, tipping a point shot from Hunter Drew past Bakersfield netminder Stuart Skinner.
Kloos set a new career high for consecutive games with a goal, finding the back of the net in a fourth straight contest.
Gulls captain Sam Carrick - reassigned by Anaheim earlier Friday - tied the game with the only goal of the second period. Daniel Sprong collected a rebound off Carrick's initial bid, carrying the puck from behind the net into the right faceoff circle. His cross-ice feed found Carrick in stride, and the Gulls captain quickly fired it into the empty net for his team-leading 11th goal of the season.
“I thought we did a good job of battling back,” said Carrick. “Sprong made a great play to me and I had an open net, so those ones should go in every time.”
Bakersfield received the game-winning goal from Jake Kulevich at 3:30 of the final period.
San Diego had its chances in the closing minute, including a bid from All Star defenseman Chris Wideman that hit Skinner and trickled within centimeters of crossing the goal line.
“It was close at the end there,” said Wideman. “It was a tough start, giving up a goal on the first shift of the game and then one right after. Not a way we want to start a game. It’s a good team over there so falling behind doesn’t make it easy chasing the game.”