Gulls Point Streak Ends In Shutout LossFeb 14, 2020
The Gulls were held scoreless for the first time this season as Kappo Kahkonen stopped all 34 shots in a 3-0 Iowa Wild win Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena. Wild forward Gerald Mayhew scored all three goals, netting a natural hat trick to push his league lead in goals to 39.
Despite the setback, the Gulls earned points in seven of eight contests (5-1-2-0) and 12 of their last 14 games (10-2-2-0).
Anthony Stolarz stopped 30-of-31 shots as his five-game win streak was brought to a halt. Stolarz has posted an 8-1-1 record in his last 10 starts with a 2.28 goals-against average (GAA) and .936 save percentage (SV%).
Each team traded scoring chances in the first period, but the game remained scoreless after 20 minutes, while Iowa led in shots 13-5.
Both traded scoring chances midway through the following period as Mayhew stole the puck in the Iowa zone after a faceoff and raced down the ice for a breakaway chance. Stolarz denied his shot with a pad save and the Gulls quickly turned the rebound into a rush back down the other way. Blake Pietila dished a pass to Sam Carrick for a one-one-one chance, but Kahkonen denied the shot with a sprawling pad save.
Through two periods, neither team was able to get on the scoreboard, marking the first time this season that a Gulls game has been scoreless through two periods. The Gulls used two power-play opportunities to record 10 shots on net throughout the middle period, holding the Wild to nine shots.
The Gulls came out of the gates determined to get a goal at the start of the third, creating multiple scoring chances on net. A shot by De Leo from the slot went off Kahkonen and nearly trickled across the goal line but hit the post and went wide instead. Justin Kloos picked up the puck as it was swept to the slot and his backhand chance with half the net to shoot at was denied by Kahkonen.
Iowa broke the tie just seconds later 1:58 into the final frame as Mayhew netted his league-leading 37th goal. Scott Moldenhauer blocked a shot from the point, but Mayhew took the rebound and fired a shot at the net that caromed off Moldenhauer and through Stolarz.
Two late penalties by Iowa put the Gulls on a 5-on-3 power play for 1:32 with just under five minutes remaining in regulation. Kahkonen stopped a shot by Wideman, but the rebound came loose and Isac Lundestrom put the puck into the back of the net. However, the referee had lost sight of the puck and blew his whistle. The referee instead signaled a goal despite blowing the whistle as the five-man Gulls unit celebrated behind the net. The referees convened and determined the play had been blown dead before the puck crossed the line, resulting in no goal for San Diego.
The Gulls continued their push to tie the game and pulled Stolarz in favor of an extra attacker, but Mayhew collected a puck in the neutral zone and hit the empty net with 52 seconds remaining. Shortly after the ensuing faceoff, Mayhew was sprung on a breakaway, impeded by Wideman and missed a shot. Due to Wideman being penalized and an empty net, the goal is given and with 32 seconds left Mayhew had his hat trick.
Kahkonen stayed strong in net and picked up his third shutout over the last six games and his fifth of the season.
The Gulls will have a chance to even the weekend set as they conclude their season series against the Iowa Wild tomorrow at 4 p.m. PT, marking the final game against a Central Division opponent this season.