6-0 Start Has Gulls Atop AHL
The San Diego Gulls improved to a club-record and league best 6-0-0-0 start to the season, defeating the Bakersfield Condors 4-3 tonight at FivePoint Arena. With the win, San Diego became the first Pacific Division club to begin a season with six consecutive victories since the division's inception in 2015-16. The Gulls killed all four Bakersfield power plays to improve to 23-for-24 (95.8%) on the penalty kill this season, the best mark in the AHL this season (min. 10 times shorthanded).
San Diego's win marked several firsts for Gulls players as four skaters recorded their first point with San Diego, including two first career AHL goals and two first career AHL points.
Benoit-Olivier Groulx scored his first career AHL goal at the 12:36 mark of the first period.
Jacob Perreault notched his first career AHL goal at the 13:24 mark of the first period. Perreault owns 1-1=2 points in his first six career AHL games.
Bryce Kindopp collected his first career AHL point (assist) in his AHL debut with an assist on Groulx's goal.
Jamie Drysdale recorded an assist, extending his point streak to three games (1-3=4). Drysdale paces AHL defensemen in scoring (2-4=6), co-leads in assists and ranks tied for second goals.
Vinni Lettieri scored his second consecutive game-winning goal, to extend his point streak to three games (3-2=5). Lettieri ranks tied for fifth among league leaders in points per game (1.67) and goals (3).
Trevor Carrick scored his first goal as a Gull on an assist from his brother, Sam Carrick. Trevor has recorded points in consecutive games (1-1=2) and has earned 1-2=3 points in his last five games with San Diego.
Sonny Milano registered an assist in his Gulls debut.
Matt Lorito, Andrew Poturalski and Antoine Morand also collected assists.
Lukas Dostal stopped 37-of-40 shots to earn his fifth win in as many starts. Dostal leads the AHL in wins (5), saves (189), minutes played (300) and save percentage (.950, min. 60 saves).
San Diego begins its 2020-21 road schedule on Friday, Feb. 19 vs. Bakersfield (6 p.m.) at Mechanics Bank Arena.
SAN DIEGO GULLS
On his goal
Yeah, we started in the d-zone on the faceoff. Bryce Kindopp helped me win it, he had great burst of speed straight through the offensive zone. He passed it right back to Josh Mahura who made a great shot. I was just in front of the net where you score goals and got a tip on it. I got very lucky honestly but it was a great play by Josh and Bryce so I got to give them credit.
On getting confidence from coaches
It feels like a lot of confidence especially for me, a rookie in this league. Now especially playing with Morand on the PK we had a lot of chemistry together. We played in Halifax together, it makes it a little bit easier to read off each other and like you said I think it's proved that there's confidence from my coach and really looking forward to that.
On his first career AHL goal
I think our line did a pretty good job of getting it deep. [Antoine Morand] and [Matt Lorito] did a pretty good job down low and the puck popped up loose. I ended up being in the right spot and just tried to get it on net. It was a good feeling to get the first one out of the way.
On the success of San Diego's rookies
I think it all started when we came a few weeks early to just skate. We got to go to camp and gain experience from all those older guys and see how they play. Coming down, I think we've being doing a good job. We've got a great group of guys in practice. They're always pushing to get better and they're making us feel really comfortable. Especially at a young age, it's good to have those guys.
On Sam Carrick
He's a captain for a reason. He leads by example. It's good to have him on our team. He shows us something to look up to. It's good to have him also to protect us and know we're safe out there. We've got so many guys on the team who are here for us and we're here for them. I think it goes along with the whole team. We're all there for each other.
Head Coach Kevin Dineen
On the comeback
I think maybe they're trying to tell us they don't like pregame skates. We had one game where we didn't and that was our best start by far. At the end of it, they had three scoring chances in the first period and two of them went on. Obviously, it's an issue for us that we have to address here. Just a little more stability, I'm not looking for an explosion at the beginning, but just a little more balance. At the end of it, I like the score at the end of the night.
On Sam Carrick
The guys has been around awhile, right? He makes high-end plays, he's an enjoyable player to watch if you're a hockey aficionado or you're someone that's new to the game. He's one of those guys that sticks out in so many positive ways. He's a good line mate, he's a good teammate, he's a good captain and he's really the heartbeat of our team.
On the 6-0 start this season compared to the 0-6 start last season
I think of our players have a heck of a lot to do with it. We have some great skill, we're very well built on the backside. All those players are playing up to their capabilities this year which has made it, well not easy, we've played a lot of close hockey games, and that's part of the character building too. Yeah, our record is 6-0, but there is a lot of grind that went into those wins.
On Benoit-Olivier Groulx
I saw (his play) last year in our rookie camp when he was in training camp. We had a week with him. We throw a bunch of rookies together. He made a really good impression on me last year and I think that's carried over to this year. He's responsible, I think he has to do some more work in the faceoff circle, but you throw him out there in the last three minutes in the game to kill a penalty. I think that says a lot about the kid, and what we think of him and how he can play the game. He said to me the other day, 'hey, you know I can play some on offense too'. I said, 'let's go see it'. He showed us tonight.
San Diego 4 vs. Bakersfield 3
Feb. 17, 2021
6-0-0-0, 12 points
Box Score: San Diego vs. Bakersfield
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