Feeling The Heat

Gulls Power Play Blanked By Heat

Dec 4, 2021

By AJ Manderichio/SanDiegoGulls.com

The San Diego Gulls dropped both games of a back-to-back series with the Pacific Division-leading Stockton Heat, falling 3-2 tonight at Stockton Arena.

Glenn Gawdin scored twice and Connor Mackey recorded 1-1=2 to lead the Heat offense. Heat goaltender Dustin Wolf, starting for a second consecutive night, made 36 saves for his ninth win of the season.

Hunter Drew scored the lone goal for San Diego, who suffered consecutive losses for the first time since Nov. 12-13. Olle Eriksson Ek stopped 25 shots in the loss.

Special teams played a factor in the opening frame, as both teams used the power play - and penalty kill - to find the scoresheet.

Gawdin opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 3:02 of the opening frame. His shot from the circle deflected off traffic in front and past a screened Eriksson Ek for Gawdin's fourth goal of the season.

Just moments before the goal, Wolf denied Bryce Kindopp on a shorthanded rush. The Gulls forward cut across the net and tried to lift a backhand to the back of the net, but the sliding Wolf denied the chance.

Drew tied the game at one with his second goal of the season - a shorthanded tally - with 9:37 left in the period.

The Heat fumbled a pass attempt, with the puck sliding past their forward at the near boards. Drew exploded out of his zone, collecting the puck and carrying it into the Stockton zone. His low wrist shot sailed past Wolf for his San Diego's first goal of the game.

Mackey scored a shorthanded goal - his second in as many games - to put the Heat back ahead with 3:38 remaining in the opening frame. A shot from Jakob Pelletier deflected off the defenseman and past Eriksson Ek, giving Mackey another multi-point performance.

The Stockton defenseman - who scored three goals during the 2020-21 season – found the back of the net three times over the weekend.

The Gulls came out firing in the second period, tilting the ice in their favor as they peppered Wolf with shots from all angles.

It appeared Jack Badini tied the game with 5:13 left in the middle frame, but referees waved off the goal. The center found a loose puck behind Dustin Wolf, crashing the crease and missing on his initial shot attempt. As he turned his foot to stop, the puck deflected off his skate and over the goal line. The officials ruled Badini kicked the puck into the net and upheld their call on video review.

The Gulls would finish the middle frame with 18 shots, one off their season high for shots in a second period.

Stockton’s penalty kill – ranked second in the American Hockey League – would clinch the victory. The Heat would kill two minor penalties in the game’s final period before Gawdin picked up his second goal of the game with an empty-net goal with 1:51 remaining in regulation.

The Gulls power play – one of the best in the league entering the weekend series – went 1-for-17 in the two losses.

San Diego refused to go quietly, with Brayden Tracey bringing them back within one with just one minute remaining in regulation.

The right wing battled to the front of the net, corralling a loose puck and snapping it past a sliding Wolf for his sixth goal of the season. The rookie has 4-4=8 points in his last five games and finished the game tied for first among all Gulls in points (15), tied for second in goals (6) and second in assists (9).

San DIego will conclude its four-game road trip next Friday against the Ontario Reign.

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