Duel In The Desert

Gulls Look For Consistency Against Roadrunners

Mar 21, 2021

The San Diego Gulls and Tucson Roadrunners finish a weekend back-to-back series tonight at Tucson Arena (5 p.m. PT; TV: AHL TV; Radio: Gulls Audio Network). San Diego is searching for its first win of the season against its Pacific Division rivals, dropping the two previous contests.

Tucson won the first game of the weekend series, skating away with a 6-2 victory last night. Ryan McGregor (1-1=2), Jeremy Gregoire (1-1=2), and Michael Bunting (0-2=2) recorded multi-point nights to help Tucson record a season high in goals, and Connor LaCouvee made 40 saves to grab his second win of the season. Both victories are against San Diego.

Benoit-Olivier Groulx and Chase De Leo scored for the Gulls, who saw their losing streak stretch to five games. Andrew Poturalski collected his 12th helper of the season, and enters tonight tied for second in the American Hockey League for assists.

Jeff Glass suffered his first loss of the season, stopping 23 shots.

“It’s tough to make excuses,” De Leo said last night. “No matter what, if we play a back-to-back or three-in-three or have five days off, you have to show up and play every night. We got outworked, I think. That can’t happen. That’s always in our control, how hard we work. Nobody is going to do it for us. We have to buy in as a group and help each other as a group. Create our own energy.

“We even had some of America’s Finest Fans who made the trek from San Diego. First time playing in front of them and we let them down. We’ve got to have a big response tomorrow.”

Kevin Dineen is looking for the team to deliver an even effort.

“Consistency throughout the game from the opening faceoff to the last faceoff of a period and starting the same way,” he said after Saturday’s loss. “It’s understanding that if we don’t play a certain way, what happened to us tonight will continue to happen to us. We need some fundamental changes in our thought process and the way we play.”

San Diego will lead on their veteran leaders to try and snap the losing skid. Sam Carrick leads the AHL in shots (62) and posted four multi-point efforts (3-5=8) in his last nine games. Poturalski has 3-10=13 points in his last 12 games, including two career-tying three-assist performances, Feb. 20 vs. COL and Mar. 3 @ ONT. He's tied for third in power-play assists (6) and tied for eighth in scoring (4-12=16).

Three Gulls sit one point away from impressive career milestones. Keegan Lowe is one point away from 100 career AHL points, while Poturalski and De Leo sit one point away from 200 career AHL points.

Tucson’s depth players took center stage in the previous two meetings. McGregor enters tonight with four points (2-2=4) against the Gulls. He’s collected just four points against the other Pacific Division teams this season.

Gregoire grabbed three points (2-1=3) in the previous two meetings, collecting his only points this season.

Following the game, San Diego will return to Southern California and finish a three-game road trip against the Ontario Reign on Wednesday, March 24 at 6 p.m. PT.

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