Gulls Get back on Track, Beat Bakersfield in OT
The Gulls began a three-game road trip with a 5-4 overtime win over the Bakersfield Condors at Rabobank Arena. San Diego killed all six Bakersfield power plays and has now killed 24 consecutive penalties dating to the first period on Mar. 1 at Stockton, a span of six games. The Gulls also scored three power-play goals, the third time with three-or-more PPG this season (last: Mar. 6 vs. Stockton; 4-for-8).
Sam Steel scored the game-winning goal 1:58 into overtime, his first career overtime goal. Steel also recorded three assists to tie a single-game career high with 1-3=4 points (also: Feb. 1 vs. Ontario; 2-2=4). The three assists set a new career high while the four points marked his eighth multi-point game. Selected by Anaheim in the first round (30th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, Steel now has 6-4=10 points his last eight games.
Jack Kopacka scored his first career power-play goal at 17:35 of the second period and added an assist for his second multi-point game (also Feb. 8 at Ontario; 1-1=2).
Chase De Leo tallied his 12 multi-point game of the season with his team-leading 26th and 27th assists. De Leo earned the primary assist on Steel's overtime goal, while Simon Benoit also earned an assist on the game-winner.
Andy Welinski scored the game-tying goal (PPG) at 8:39 of the third period. His seventh PPG of the season tied his career high set in 2017-18. Welinski continues to pace San Diego defensemen in points (8-9=17), goals and PPG.
Kiefer Sherwood netted his fourth goal at 2:11 of the third period to mark his 12th point the last 15 games (4-8=12).
Justin Kloos scored his 14th on the power play at 10:20 of the first period to mark his 14th goal.
Kevin Boyle became the first Gulls goaltender to reach the 20-win mark after making 26 saves. The victory set a new career high with his 20th win to surpass his previous club record 19 wins set in 2017-18. Boyle improved to 4-1-0 against Bakersfield this season.
San Diego Gulls
On his development
I think I've made a lot of progression over the year and learned a lot about the little parts of the game. The coaches have been really good and are always trying to help me out so I definitely feel like I've become a better player.
On his four-point night
Lately I've just been feeling good. Whether I'm getting points or not, I feel like I'm doing the little things right and getting some chemistry with some line mates there.
On his overtime goal
I was just looking for something and tried to open him up and it worked.
On beating Bakersfield
It's huge. The last couple of games, they've gotten the best of us, but I think over the year we have played a lot of good hockey against them. It was just those last couple of games that we didn't show up for. It's big and we might end up seeing them in the playoffs.
Head Coach Dallas Eakins
On the game
We showed some fight which is really encouraging. We really battled hard defensively over our last three games, including tonight. Tonight, getting down like we did in the third, it wasn't like air going out of the balloon, our guys really dug in and showed some mental toughness and intestinal fortitude.
On special teams
It's important. Five-on-five goals are hard to come by at this time of year. We really want to excel there on our power play. Our penalty killers and Kevin Boyle came up big on our kills.
On Sam Steel
Steeler, excellent. Just a real, solid game. It's been so much fun to watch his progress this year where he can firmly stand on his own two feet out there. He's a good player for us not only five-on-five but on our power play and penalty kill.
On facing top teams
I think it was big. We talked about it before the game. I think you constantly remember what's happened to you recently. Obviously getting shut out a couple games, but then you think about Bakersfield. They had beat us handily the last couple games we had played but the reality was is that we had beat them five times, they had beat us twice and they had us once in a shootout. 5-2-1 against that team. I thought it was important for us to remember that and remember that we're not a bunch of underdogs here. It's time for us to step up and show these teams that we can play with them as well.
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