Gulls Down Reign, 4-3, In OvertimeJan 29, 2021
The San Diego Gulls rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a 4-3 overtime win over the rival Ontario Reign. San Diego scored twice in the final 3:26 of regulation to force overtime and Isac Lundestrom struck 59 seconds into the extra frame for the game-winning goal.
“Well, it was a little bit of a Disneyland rollercoaster,” said Gulls Head Coach Kevin Dineen. “We were up and then we were down and then we were up. It was a little inconsistent from our perspective but we also understand there are still some things we need to iron out and make sure that we find our team identity. Part of that is being more consistent throughout the game. Obviously, it was an entertaining way to finish and a good one for our squad.”
As preparations for the regular season continue, San Diego welcomed two new additions to the lineup, defenseman Trevor Carrick and right wing Matt Lorito. Carrick, acquired from San Jose on Thursday, skated on a defensive pair with Josh Mahura and recorded one shot on goal. Lorito, who signed as a free agent earlier in the day, collected an assist.
San Diego got the scoring started with a power-play goal late in the first period. With Austin Strand serving a penalty for hooking, the Gulls controlled an offensive zone faceoff. Trevor Zegras set up Kodie Curran along the blue line before Curran fired a wrist shot that deflected off Chase De Leo in front of the net and past J.F. Berube, putting San Diego ahead 1-0 with 6:09 left in the opening frame. With the goal, the Gulls have scored three power-play goals in as many preseason games.
Ontario answered back in the second period, first tying the game and quickly afterwards taking its first lead of the contest. Arthur Kaliyev collected the game-tying tally with a rebound goal at the 12:26 mark of the second period. Just 1:24 later, Tyler Madden put the Reign ahead as he converted a deft backhand pass from Kaliyev behind the net.
Late in the middle frame, Madden struck again to extend the Reign advantage. After a Gulls turnover in the neutral zone, Aidan Dudas collected the puck and raced ahead on an odd-man rush with Madden, who finished a backdoor pass for his second goal of the night, putting Ontario ahead 3-1 with 3:49 left in the second period.
San Diego cut the deficit to one in the waning minutes of the third period with some help from a fresh face. Lorito, skating in his Gulls preseason debut, cut through several Ontario defenders just inside the Gulls offensive zone before spotting Isac Lundestrom alone on the backdoor. Lorito hit Lundestrom with a perfect pass and the young forward did the rest, pulling the Gulls within one with just 3:26 play in regulation.
Just over two minutes later, and with 72 seconds left in the third period, San Diego once again pulled even. With several players fighting for the puck behind the Ontario net, Trevor Zegras worked it free and set up Andrew Agozzino in the slot, who snapped a wrist shot by Berube, evening the score and forcing overtime.
It only took one minute into the extra frame for the Gulls to earn the victory. Kodie Curran took the puck away from a Reign attacker at center ice and guided a pass ahead for Lundestrom, who fired a shot past Berube, notching his second goal of the game and securing San Diego’s overtime win.
“It was a great by play Curran there to lift the stick and find me wide open on the fly there,” said Lundestrom. “I just wanted to get it to the net. I had some opportunities today to score and I always want to improve my shot. It felt good that it went between the legs there.”
Lukas Dostal made 28 saves to earn his second straight win in the preseason. Through two starts, Dostal has stopped 56-of-60 shots, posting a 1.98 GAA and .933 save percentage.
"We like the way we were moving our feet in the first period. We like the way we were putting pucks on net,” said Dineen. “We’re still a work in process on making sure we are system strong. When you play that way, your offensive talent takes over. There is still work to be done. I know its preseason, but I think it bodes well when your team doesn’t play great but finds a way to win.”
San Diego concludes its preseason schedule Sunday, Jan. 31 (4 p.m.) vs. Bakersfield at Mechanics Bank Arena.