Heading To Christmas Happy!

Gulls Head To Christmas Break With A Win

Dec 23, 2022

By Brett Pickler/SanDiegoGulls.com


The San Diego Gulls beat the Tucson Roadrunners 6-2 at the Tucson Convention Center Arena.


From the drop of the puck, both teams came out flying. San Diego threw everything on net to start the game in the hope of creating rebounds. Defenseman Drew Helleson nearly converted on one of these rebounds. He snuck behind the Tucson defenders while the Gulls cycled the puck. They eventually got the puck to the net and Helleson was denied by a sprawling save.


The Gulls continued to generate chances throughout the period by using their speed through the neutral zone. Right wing Rocco Grimaldi got the puck on a 3-on-2 zone entry. He walked in towards the goaltender and rifled a shot bar down to give the Gulls an early lead. Defenseman Nikolas Brouillard extended his point streak to six games with an assist on the play. They would extend their lead at the 4:48 mark of the period when defenseman Colton White made his way to the top of the paint and tapped the puck into an open net making it 2-0.


The Roadrunners would get one back on the power play. Center Laurent Dauphin created traffic in front of the net and deflected a shot from the point cutting the Gulls’ lead in half. Entering tonight’s game Tucson scored 4 power-play goals in this current three-game set with San Diego.


"Well, after the first, the big thing was we talked about (how) we had a pretty good first last night," head coach Roy Sommer said about the message during intermission. "Then, we just kind of sat back. Then, go into the second tonight - I mean, it was a little better. I mean, with the score, it was 1-1 after that. Both teams scored and then the key was put the hammer down and get it done in the third and we did."


Tucson started the second period aggressively, trying to tie the game at two. They got a chance quickly as the Gulls took a penalty at the 3:38 mark. San Diego managed to kill it off, but Tucson maintained control in the Gulls’ zone. They tied the game shortly after the penalty ended on a one-time shot from center Curtis Douglas in the slot.


The Gulls did not back down following the tying goal. They established pressure in the Tucson zone and eventually drew a penalty. On the power play, the Gulls moved the puck around, creating passing lanes. This allowed Helleson to find left wing Pavol Regenda back door for the go-ahead goal. Right wing Jacob Perreault recorded his second assist of the game on this tally, marking his first multi-assist game of the season.


San Diego closed out the period with the 3-2 lead, but it was not easy. After their goal, they conceded two penalties, with one coming in the last two minutes of the period. The Gulls limited the Roadrunners’ chances but goaltender Garrett Metcalf needed to be alert as Tucson mounted a heavy attack.


The Roadrunners began the final frame on the power play. San Diego’s defense held strong setting themselves up for a final push to close out the game. Regenda gave his team some insurance when he scored his second goal of the game on a redirect in front of the net, making it 4-2. San Diego added to their lead on defenseman Frank Hora’s first career American Hockey League goal.


Tucson pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker. They peppered Metcalf with shots and drew a penalty. San Diego weathered the extended attack and left wing David Cotton sealed the game with an empty net goal giving the Gulls a 6-2 win.


"I mean, when's the last time we had a lead going into the third?" Sommer said. "It's been a while and they hung onto it; they didn't sit back. We scored early, which made things good, made it 4-2. Then, we got that next one and kind of took it from there, but got to give the guys credit."

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