Gulls Push Point Streak to Six
Chase De Leo, Justin Kloos record multi-point efforts in the winFeb 7, 2020
The Gulls overcame an early two-goal deficit to beat the Tucson Roadrunners 5-3 tonight at Pechanga Arena San Diego. In the comeback effort, San Diego scored three goals in the second period, marking a season-high, and netted two power-play goals for the seventh time this season. The Gulls second half success continues to be an apparent theme as the team has now picked up points in a season-high six straight games (4-0-2-0) and 11 of their last 12 contests (9-1-2-0).
Sam Carrick scored a power-play goal to mark his third six-game point streak of the season (2-5=7). Justin Kloos and Chase De Leo each scored a goal and added an assist (1-1=2) for multi-point efforts. De Leo now has 1-4=5 points in his last four games played.
“[De Leo] and [Kloos] really stepped up and made a difference out there,” said Gulls head coach Kevin Dineen. “[Kloos] has played center, he’s played wing, he’s been all over and he goes out there and he wins a big face-off to get us started in the right direction. A very solid effort by those two.”
Tucson struck first in a dominant first period as Jon Martin opened the scoring at the 10:20 mark of the first period. After a battle for the puck behind the Gulls net, Blake Speers attempted a pass to the slot, but Stolarz blocked the attempt with his stick, but despite the effort, the puck managed to find its way to Martin’s stick as he sent a wrist shot into the net.
The Roadrunners doubled their lead when Brayden Burke found an open Andy Miele to the left of Stolarz with a cross-ice pass and Miele tapped the puck to the back of the net with 6:47 remaining in the opening frame.
After one period of play, the Roadrunners held a significant advantage, leading 15-5 in shots and 2-0 on the scoreboard.
However, three San Diego goals separated by 7:22 in the following period would change that.
San Diego began the middle frame by cutting Tucson’s lead in half at the 9:45 mark on a De Leo wrist shot immediately following a Kloos faceoff win.
“When you’re taking draws you never can put it on the tape and you’re just trying to get it back for your team to have the puck,” said Kloos on the goal. “Fortunate it went right to his tape and he whipped it in. It was a good shot by him.”
Carrick tied the game at two apiece at 5:39 with his team-leading 19th goal, this time on the power play. After skating off the half wall, Carrick’s wrist shot slipped under Prosvetov’s left pad and crossed the goal line. With an assist on the play, Daniel Sprong has now recorded at least a point in 16 of his last 22 games played (6-13=19).
San Diego capped off their three-goal period as Kloos corralled a rebound and lifted the puck over the Tucson netminder’s glove for the go-ahead score.
“I thought we came out with a little more urgency, a little more desperation,” said Chris Mueller what was needed to comeback in the second period. “Every point is huge at this time of the year. We stood around a little too much in the first. Urgency. A little more will to win. Good job by [Stolarz] to keep us in it in the first, and us to rally behind.”
The Roadrunners tied the score at three goals apiece just 54 into the final period on a Michael Bunting goal that beat Stolarz over the right pad.
The Gulls power-play unit converted for the second time on a goal by Chris Mueller 8:00 into the third frame to take a 4-3 lead. De Leo played the puck to Blake Pietila in the slot, but his shot was saved. With Cam Dineen draped on his back, Mueller managed to elevate the puck over Prosvertov’s pad for the score. With the assist, Pietila has points in three consecutive games (2-2=4).
“It happened so fast. I feel like I was jumping up in his arms as soon as it went over the goal line,” said De Leo on the goal. “That’s why we acquired him, he’s a good net front presence on the power play. He’s known for banging those goals in. It was a huge goal at a critical time in the game and we couldn’t have been more excited.”
San Diego sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 66 seconds on the clock. Max Comtois blocked a Kyle Capobianco shot, which pushed the puck into the neutral zone. Comtois passed the puck to Isac Lundestrom, who skated to the Roadrunners zone and scored on the empty net to make the score 5-3.
“It doesn’t really matter what guys are in the lineup, if we have guys up in the NHL or guys injured or new guys in the lineup, it’s just finding a way to dig deep no matter who we’re playing against,” said De Leo. “It doesn’t really matter who we have in our lineup and doesn’t matter too much who they have in their lineup. It’s just competing every night single night and whoever wants it more is probably going to get the two points.”
San Diego will conclude its homestand Sunday, Feb. 9 vs. the Bakersfield Condors (5 p.m., TV: FOX 5 San Diego).