Gulls Put away Bakersfield
The Gulls advanced to the Western Conference Finals with a 6-2 win over the Bakersfield Condors tonight at Pechanga Arena San Diego, winning the series in six games (best-of-seven) to eliminate the top seed in the Western Conference.
San Diego has won the most playoff series among Pacific Division clubs since its inception in 2015 (4), surpassing the three by Texas (all in 2018). San Diego now co-leads the Pacific Division with 15 all-time playoff wins (also Texas). With a 7-3 record this postseason, the Gulls have won the most playoff games in a single postseason in club history.
San Diego's trip to the Conference Finals is the third occasion an Anaheim Ducks primary affiliate has reached the Third Round (also Portland Pirates in 2006 and 2008).
San Diego improved to 3-0 on home ice with a chance to eliminate an opponent, and 4-2 overall.
Chase De Leo scored the fastest goal to open a playoff game in Gulls history 46 seconds into the game with his first goal of the series and fifth of the playoffs (5-0=5). De Leo's goal surpassed the previous mark of 3:22 set by Nick Ritchie in Game 2 of the Pacific Division Finals on May 7, 2016 vs. Ontario.
Kalle Kossila recorded his first career multi-goal game of his postseason career with two goals (2-0=2). Kossila's 3-3=6 points this postseason tied a career high set in 2017 (2-4=6) while his three goals set a new single-season playoff high.
Sam Carrick picked up his fourth multi-point game of the playoffs with his fifth goal and 12th point (5-7=12). Carrick co-leads San Diego in scoring and ranks tied for third among AHL playoff leaders.
Max Comtois netted his first career multi-point game with a goal and assist (1-1=2). Comtois scored his third goal of the series at 9:34 of the second period and added an assist on Sam Carrick's goal. .
Andy Welinski set a Gulls single-game postseason record with three assists to mark his first career multi-point and assist effort. Among AHL defensemen, Welinski ranks tied for second in scoring (2-5=7) and assists, with his five assists setting a new postseason high (three in 2017).
Justin Kloos recorded two assists (0-2=2) to mark his first career multi-point playoff contest.
Adam Cracknell also earned his team-leading seventh assist and 12th point of the postseason on the Comtois goal. Cracknell led the Pacific Division Finals with 4-5=9 points (played in five games) and ranks third among AHL postseason leaders in scoring (6-7=13), tied second in goals and tied fourth in assists.
Ben Street tallied his second goal of the postseason to seal the 6-2 win and finish the series with three points the last four games (1-2=3).
Jeff Glass won his sixth game of the postseason after stopping 20-of-22 shots. Glass compiled a 3-1 record in the series with a 2.21 goals-against average and .921 save percentage.
The Gulls advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in club history and will face the Chicago Wolves (Vegas Golden Knights) in a best-of-seven series beginning this Friday, May 17 at Allstate Arena (5 p.m. PT).
San Diego Gulls
On reaching the Western Conference Finals
It feels great. We're going to enjoy this tonight and then we're going to start focusing on the next round.
On the fast start
That's what we were talking about in the locker room. Usually if you get the first goal you get the crowd going. You get into the game. It feeds you.
On his game-winning goal
I saw he went down and we talked about it in the locker room. These goalies play down these days and that's where the room is. That's just where the room is.
On clinching the series at home
I can't wait to play back here again. These fans are great. Hopefully we get the same crowd if not even bigger next round.
On clinching the series
We wanted to win the last game, obviously. It's a little bit of relief but I would say it's more joy. We're just enjoying with this group, getting this far and trying to make a run.
On advancing to the Western Conference Finals
It's huge. We've been through a lot this year and it's been a tough series. That's a good team we just beat over there. They played well so we had to come out and play our best. We did tonight so it feels great.
On enjoying the win
I think we're still inside of that window, it feels great. It's important to not look too far forward, but we have a new challenge coming up. We're going to enjoy this one right now.
On the quick start
I think it's important to realize in playoffs they have to go through the same stuff. The travel, a lot of games. The last couple of games, that's something that we were missing, a fast start. It's hard to say what changed, but that was our message: get on the gas right away. We did a good job of playing a 60-minute game. That's what it takes in playoffs and we did a good job sealing the deal tonight.
On the fan support
It's unbelievable, all year long the fans have been tremendous. I know the season tickets are not in playoffs and you never know what you're going to get, but here, there's no question. We have 10 to 12 thousand fans here for playoffs, it's unbelievable. It makes all the difference in the world. I was happy we could play a full game tonight and give them what they came for.
On clinching the series
It kind of lets you take a deep breath. I think that was a big part of our team tonight. We never tensed up, we never sat back. Maybe at times in previous games we kind of got caught up in it. They're a good team, they can score goals, but we just stayed on the gas. It's tough for them to score goals when we're on offense. I think it was group effort of keeping the puck in their zone and we kept pushing all the way through.
Head Coach Dallas Eakins
On clinching the series
We're excited, really proud of what these guys have been able to accomplish so far. We sat down early in the season and the staff did not give them goals, they had their own goals. They've accomplished another one of those here tonight. We're excited. We're proud. We're going to enjoy it for another 10 or 15 minutes, we're going to get some rest and get on our way to Chicago.
On the fast start
We talked about it this morning. We talked about it in our 5:30 meeting and we talked about it one more time just before they went out. They certainly implemented that. We came out gunning. We were by far the better team at 5-on-5. It's a testament to their work ethic, their commitment to each other, and their dedication, all those things that go into winning a series.
On Jeff Glass
He was excellent. He was excellent last game. He's been just great since coming in early on in the San Jose series. [Glass] has come in and not only has he done a lot of work on the ice but he's done a lot of work off the ice with the mental part of it. Just so excited for him and for him to be able to get us through this series like this. He's in a great place and it's a great testament to his teammates to support him.
On clinching the series in front of the home fans
You want to reward them. We would have loved to have done it earlier, but getting it done at home, being able to walk off that ice and look up to those people that come and pay their good, hard-earned money to support us and be entertained, I don't think there can be a better feeling in sports that walking off the ice after winning a series and seeing your home fans so excited.
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American Hockey League Stories from May 14, 2019
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- Devils Sign Ludvig Larsson to AHL Deal - Binghamton Devils
- Amerks 2019-20 Home Opener Set for Friday, October 4 - Rochester Americans
- Gulls Put away Bakersfield - San Diego Gulls
- Iowa Bows out of Central Division Final with 3-1 Loss - Iowa Wild
- Condors Eliminated with Game 6 Loss in San Diego - Bakersfield Condors
- San Diego Gulls Announce Western Conference Finals Schedule - San Diego Gulls
- Wolves Take on San Diego in Western Conference Finals - Chicago Wolves
- San Diego Gulls Advance to Western Conference Finals for First Time in Club History - San Diego Gulls
- American Hockey League Announces Schedules for 2019 Calder Cup Conference Finals - AHL
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