Gulls Trap Roadrunners for Fourth Straight Win
Josh Mahura, Sam Carrick record multi-point nights in the victory.Jan 17, 2020
The Gulls scored four unanswered goals to beat the league-leading Tucson Roadrunners 4-1 Friday night at Pechanga Arena San Diego. Chris Wideman, Max Comtois, Josh Mahura and Deven Sideroff scored for San Diego to push the Gulls’ win streak to four games.
San Diego has also earned points in five of their last six (4-1-0-1) and eight of their last 11 matchups (6-3-1-1) to move above .500 for the first time this season. The Gulls have also outscored opponents 18-6 over their last four contests. With two wins in three games against Tucson, the Gulls are the only Pacific Division team with a winning record vs. Tucson (2-1) this season.
“We’ve worked really hard over the last two months to keep on nipping and clawing at trying to get plus one to get over that .500 mark,” said Gulls head coach Kevin Dineen. “That’s been a real hurdle for us. We got up there, we sniffed around it a few times and fell back. A little milestone to start the second half. What was great about tonight, great contributions throughout the lineup.”
Kevin Boyle stopped 34-of-35 shots to improve to 4-1-1 in his last six games, posting a 1.94 goals against average (GAA) and .945 save percentage (SV%).
“Goaltending has really been a strong suit of ours literally most of the year,” added Dineen. “Boyle made a heck of a statement with that game tonight that we are really a two-goalie tandem team.”
The first frame began and concluded without a goal for either team. The Gulls killed both of the Roadrunners power-play chances and San Diego outshot Tucson 14-9 through 20 minutes of play. One of the highlights of the period was a stop by Boyle, who stopped the puck from entering a nearly empty net with a glove save.
“They didn’t have many shots in the first period, especially early,” said Boyle. “We controlled, we did a great job defensively and we limited their chances. To stop that big shot at the end of the first period, I got my feet wet and I had confidence in the game.”
Tucson’s Cam Dineen netted the first score of the game with 15:41 left in the second period. Brayden Burke sent a pass from the left circle to the point where Dineen shot a wrister through traffic and into the net to take a 1-0 lead.
The Roadrunners picked up a pair of minor penalties within quick succession, granting the Gulls a two-man advantage for 86 seconds. Thirteen seconds into the 5-on-3, Chris Wideman’s slap shot from the top of the circle tied the game at 1-1.
Wideman now leads AHL defenseman in goals (9) and co-leads in power-play goals (5). The veteran blueliner has recorded 1-2=3 points and a +5 rating over the last four games.
The Gulls tallied another power-play goal 100 seconds later courtesy of Max Comtois. Isac Lundestrom’s wrist through traffic came off Parks’ pad and Comtois quickly sent the puck into the net.
“Our power play has struggled this year, so to get a couple big ones tonight back-to-back to give us the lead into the third period is huge,” said Josh Mahura. “It definitely felt good as a team and hopefully we can continue our success on the power play.”
San Diego would continue to hold the 2-1 lead as the teams went to the locker room after the first 40 minutes of play. The Gulls also led the Roadrunners in shots on goal, 25-20.
The Gulls lit up the scoreboard again when Mahura netted his third goal of the season 7:52 into the final frame. Sam Carrick intercepted the puck off a Roadrunners clear and passed it to Mahura in the slot. Mahura sent a quick wrister past Parks, marking his third multi-point performance and extending San Diego’s lead to 3-1. With his second assist, Carrick has recorded 9-3=12 points over the last eight games and 21 points his last 17 games (15-6=21, +21).
Deven Sideroff finished off scoring for the Gulls with 9:37 remaining in the third period to push the lead to 4-1. Jack Kopacka stole the puck in the neutral zone and got the puck to Sideroff in front of the net, who beat Parks on his blocker side for his second goal of the season.
“They’re a team we could possibly meet in the playoffs,” said Deven Sideroff in regards to the team’s success against Tucson. “That’s what we said before the game and we stuck to our gameplan. We knew we had to take it to them and how them what we’re all about.”
San Diego will visit the Bakersfield Condors tomorrow at Mechanics Bank Arena (7 p.m., TV: FOX 5 San Diego).