March 10, 2021
The San Diego Gulls ended their road trip in two games with a 3-1 loss to the Bakersfield Condors tonight at Mechanics Bank Arena. Rookie defender Max Gildon led the charges, posting a multipoint attempt (1-1 = 2) to give Bakersfield their sixth straight win.
Ryan McLeod and James Hamblin also scored goals for the Condors, who topped .500 for the first time this season. Stuart Skinner extended his personal winning streak to six games, stopping 32 of 33 shots.
Hunter Drew scored the only goal for San Diego to drop both games on his brief road trip. Lukas Dostal suffered his sixth defeat in a row and scored 30 saves.
The two teams ended the first period goalless, but San Diego were in shots 12-5.
“It’s preparation and it’s mental right now,” said assistant coach Sylvain Lefebrve about the team’s slow starts. “We tried to come up with some ideas and some games to start the game. The other thing is that we have to win more faceoffs. If you start with the puck and try to make games, it’s a lot easier than going to try and chase get the puck back. “
The two teams exchanged goals only 16 seconds apart in the middle frame.
Gildon got on board first and scored his first career goal in the American Hockey League in a 3v2 race to give the Condors the lead 2:03 in the second frame. It was the 13th time in 16 games that the Seagulls scored the first goal of the game.
Drew responded with a loyalty goal as he cleaned up a loose puck in the slot for his second goal in the last three games. Benoit-Olivier Groulx created the chance to score when he took a pass from Trevor Carrick in the neutral zone and pushed it deep into the Condor’s zone and put a backhand shot into the net that Skinner could not control. Drew hit the crease through the middle of the ice and slid the puck into the net to get the goal.
“Well, he was one of our best players tonight,” said Lefebvre when asked about Drew’s performance. “He works hard and has a really good shot. Tonight he scored because he goes into the tough areas – we need more of that. It’s really nice to see him play well up front. We always know he is can do the job at the back when we need it. “
Groulx recorded 3-3 = 6 points and a +3 rating in his last eight games. Carrick’s helper marked his sixth goal of the season, taking him to second place in the Gulls in assists and leading club blueliners.
Ryan McLeod gave Bakersfield the lead with a penalty and scored the final winning goal at 7:12 a.m. in the second half.
With team-mate Janis Jaks in the penalty area, San Diego wanted to continue its offensive impulses. In a clearing attempt, however, McLeod found a race for an outlier chance with Trevor Carrick. Despite not scoring a goal, a penalty from the San Diego defender resulted in a penalty kick.
McLeod was moving towards the net at speed and found the back of the net with a five-hole chance of breaking the tie. The goal was the first San Diego-approved shorthanded goal this season.
Bakersfield extended their lead to 3-1 with a goal from James Hamblin, who benefited from sales in the neutral zone and shot a shot past Dostal for his first career AHL goal.
The seagulls will return home on Saturday, March 13th (7pm) on the first of two consecutive sets at the FivePoint Arena to host the Tucson Roadrunners.
“We have to react in the next game,” said Lefebvre. “It’s a quick turnaround and sometimes it’s better that way. We have some big games ahead of us this weekend and we have to be ready. Our game is better at home and we have to keep doing it. Our game on the road has to be better.” , but I don’t think we play with full confidence. “