Gulls Return Home with Shootout Win
San Diego opened a four-game homestand with a 5-4 shootout win over the Ontario Reign at Pechanga Arena. Kalle Kossila and Justin Kloos each scored shootout wins to seal the win and extend San Diego's point streak to four games (3-0-1-0).
San Diego scored four goals in a span of11:42 in the first period to set a new season high for first period goals, surpassing the three goals scored on six previous occasions (last: Mar. 17 vs. Manitoba).
Chase De Leo recorded two goals, including his 19th of the campaign, to match a career high set in 2015-16 as a rookie with Manitoba (19-21=40). The two goals marked his second multi-goal game and second against Ontario (also Feb. 8 at Ontario). De Leo has picked up 21 points his last 20 games (10-11=21).
Justin Kloos scored his 15th goal and added an assist for his seventh multi-point effort. Kloos now has three points his last two contests (2-1=3). Kloos also netted his first shootout winner of the season.
Simon Benoit added an assist on the first De Leo goal, his third the last four games (0-3=3). Sam Carrick also recorded an assist on De Leo's first goal, his team-leading 53rd point (27-26=53). Corey Tropp tallied an assist on De Leo's second goal, his 32nd point of 2018-19.
Jack Kopacka scored his second career power-play goal and sixth tally of the season overall. Kloos earned the primary assist, while Kalle Kossila recorded his 32nd point with the secondary assist.
Kevin Boyle stopped 33 shots in regulation and overtime, and made two saves in the shootout to win his 22nd game. Boyle also earned his first career assists on De Leo's second goal. Boyle is the second goaltender to earn an assist this season (also Jeff Glass, Feb. 20, vs. TUC) and became the fifth goaltender in Gulls history to record an assist.
Tonight's attendance was 12,534. San Diego continues to lead the AHL in attendance (9,109 average).
The Gulls will continue their four-game homestand on Wednesday, Mar. 27 vs. San Jose (7 p.m.), followed by a back-to-back matchup on Friday, Mar. 29 vs. Bakersfield and Saturday, Mar. 30 vs. Stockton).
San Diego Gulls
On his shootout-winning goal
I thought the ice was pretty bad so I wanted to come in slow. I come in overly fast and get ahead of myself. I just came down slow, looked for net and fortunately hit it.
On the message after Ontario's tying goal.
There didn't need to be a lot said. We were disappointed about what happened, but it's a tie game. If we were the ones to score and make it 4-4, we would've been fired up. We had to find a way to get two points whether it was in overtime, shootout or regulation and we did.
On their overtime performance
We had good looks. I thought we played well, maintained possession pretty much the whole overtime and that's what you want to do. Some good looks and we might have to do some more overtime in the future so it's good practice.
On the win
We feel good about ourselves. I don't think we had our best stuff for all 60 minutes, but you have to find a way to win. Not every night you're going to feel 100 percent. I think that was one that was nice for us.
Head Coach Dallas Eakins
On the game
It's always a great game against Ontario no matter where the teams are in the standings. Obviously an up-and-down game and back being even. I've been really proud of our games at their ability to come back and stay in the fight and their great resolve throughout this season so far.
On the team's response
We have a real sense of it doesn't matter what's happened. We're able to focus in fairly quickly on what's important rather than looking down at the ground, staring at our skates and feeling sorry for ourselves. I think that's something we've really worked on this year and it says a lot about the character of our team.
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