Gulls Drop Third Straight GameMar 13, 2021
The San Diego Gulls dropped the first half of their weekend back-to-back series with a 4-1 loss tonight to the Tucson Roadrunners. Despite the setback, the Gulls pace the AHL in home wins (8) and points (16).
Lane Pederson (1-1=2), Nate Sucese (1-1=2), Ryan McGregor (0-2=2) and former Gulls forward Kevin Roy (0-2=2) recorded multi-point games to lead Tucson offensively. Connor LaCouvee made 16 saves to earn his first victory as a Roadrunner.
Andrew Poturalski scored the lone goal for San Diego, who saw its losing streak reach three games.
"It’s easy to get frustrated right now," Gulls captain Sam Carrick said. "We’re not seeing results. At the end of the day, I don’t think the score was too indicative of how we played. Obviously, we got outshot and our goalie played really well, but there are some positives we can take from this. The worst thing we can do right now is act frustrated. We’ve got a big game tomorrow and we’ve got to bounce back. There’s no better way to do it than take some positives from tonight and move on."
Tucson took the night’s first lead as Jeremy Gregoire converted a pass from Nate Sucese for his first goal of the season, putting the Roadrunners ahead 1-0 at the 6:19 mark of the first period.
Poturalski evened the score later in the opening frame as he fired a wrist shot past Lacouvee. Brent Gates Jr. notched his first point of the season with an assist on the game-tying goal.
With the goal, Poturalski has seven points in his last seven games. The second-year Gulls winger leads San Diego in points and assists.
Tucson reclaimed the advantage early in the second period as Michael Bunting’s shot bounced off a Gulls defender in front of the net and by Dostal, giving the Roadrunners a 2-1 lead at the 4:18 mark of the middle period.
The Roadrunners extended their lead to two with a power-play goal in the final minute of the second period. Kyle Capobianco held the puck in at the blue line and faked a shot before setting up Pederson for a one-timer. Pederson beat Dostal with a slap shot for his fifth goal of the season.
The middle frame saw both teams pick up the physical play, with three fights coming after the halfway mark of the game. Trevor Carrick and Jeremy Gregoire fought twice in the span of seven minutes, with the second bout earning both players a game misconduct penalty, resulting in an early exit from the game.
"Well you have to have some kind of response and pushback," head coach Kevin Dineen said. "If you go 3-0 in fights, so what. At the end, you look at the scoreboard and that’s where the difference is. There are details and minor areas of the game – I wish we won those battles more than anything else. I think we just got outbattled tonight."
Sucese capped the scoring at the 11:26 mark of the third period. After a Gulls defensive zone turnover, Cameron Hebig directed a shot on net. Dostal made the initial save but couldn’t corral the rebound, which bounced directly to Sucese for the tap-in goal.
Dostal stopped 39-of-43 shots in his 12th start of the season. He leads all rookie netminders in games, minutes played (703) and saves (341).
"Their style of game is that they like to throw shots from all angles," Carrick said. "I’m not sure if it’s part of their gameplan or what but it seems like they like to shoot the puck from everywhere in the offensive zone. It’s something we expected coming into this game and they followed through with it. Our goalie played great and he kept us in the game. I think we need to a better job in front of him keeping those shots to the outside. He’ll stop those ones from the outside all day."
The Gulls return to action Saturday with the club’s first home game against the Henderson Silver Knights (3 p.m.; TV: AHL.TV; Radio: Gulls Audio Network).
"You lose an hour tonight, so the game is coming around pretty quick," Dineen said. "We had a little pushback there at the beginning of the third period – we have to play that right from the start."