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 San Diego Gulls

Gulls Take Down Admirals, 5-3

March 16, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
San Diego Gulls News Release

The San Diego Gulls defeated the Milwaukee Admirals 5-3 Friday night at Pechanga Arena San Diego. The Gulls are now 4-1-0-0 during their current six-game homestand. San Diego's overall record now stands at 22-25-8-0.

Chase De Leo scored twice and picked up an assist (2-1=3), his seventh multi-point game. De Leo leads all San Diego skaters in points per game (.92).

Glenn Gawdin extended his point streak to four games with a goal and two assists (1-2=3). He has 2-5=7 points in that span. He now co-leads Gulls skaters in points (18-27=45).

Nikita Nesterenko scored his second goal in as many games, giving him 14 on the season. He now leads Gulls rookie skaters in goals.

Andrew Agozzino netted his 15th goal of the season, his ninth on the power play, and earned an assist. He co-leads all San Diego skaters in points (15-30=45). His 30 helpers this season mark the seventh time in his AHL career he has crossed the 30-assist plateau.

Robert Hagg set a new AHL career high in assists and points in a single game with three helpers (0-3=3). He has 1-6=7 points in his last five games and two multi-assist games in that span.

Ben King notched two assists, his first professional multi-assist effort. He now has 12 helpers on the campaign and 3-2=5 points in his last five games.

Sasha Pastujov also picked up an assist, his eighth of the season.

Calle Clang stopped 31-of-34 shots to earn his third straight win. It was also his third straight 30-plus save performance.

The San Diego Gulls conclude their six-game homestand with the second leg of their back-to-back with the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night (6 p.m. PST; TV: AHLTV; RADIO: Gulls Audio Network).



Left wing Chase De Leo

On the win over Milwaukee on home ice:

It's great. Obviously, I think we owe it to our fans. We've had a tough go at home, I feel like for the most part of this year, so, nice to make up for that. I thought we had a great effort from top to bottom. Everybody contributed. Penalty kill was great. Power play, we were able to cash in. So, I thought top to bottom we were great, it'd be nice to keep the lead. I think, obviously, that's kind of where the learning comes in and experience, and just nice to get a win on home ice.

On tonight's second period compared to second periods in the last few games:

I think that just comes with the experience. I think we've had a few games where we don't get the puck out or we give up a late goal in the period, and then we're behind, you know. So, you kind of got to go through those growing pains, and it's a nice lesson for us and nice to come out with two tonight.

On his three-point night:

For myself, honestly, I don't think many people know I've been still dealing with this injury that put me out for 48 games last year, and obviously MCL this year. Just trying to get back to feeling like myself. It's taken almost over 18 months, which is almost unbelievable, so tonight was honestly the first night I was able to turn my head and feel a little bit more comfortable, like myself out there. So, it was great to be able to contribute, but nothing better than the big win.

On everybody contributing to the win:

We need everyone, from top to bottom. Goaltending, fourth line, doesn't matter, when you're out there, we know what our job is, and it's every guy. That's what's great about having a team sport, you got all your brothers out there with you. We've got to trust each other and know we're all going to do our job.

On tomorrow night's game against Milwaukee:

I think just play a mature, full 60. We can't take any, not even a shift, off. Not against a team like that. Obviously, they're a top team and they know what it takes to win, and they showed it tonight, had a push back and we can't afford to take our foot off the gas at all.

Defenseman Robert Hagg

On what's clicked for the team:

Yeah, that's a good question. I don't really know, like we're sticking together as a group and we're having fun. Sooner or later, it's going to bounce our way and that's what it's doing right now. So, we just try to keep the victories coming and have fun.

On his AHL career-high three-assist game:

I didn't know that. I mean, that's funny. Also, it was fun, but I mean, the puck was bouncing my way. I don't know if I can take too much credit for it. But it's always fun when that happens. So hopefully we can keep it coming tomorrow as well.

On his defensive game and his ability to keep calm on the ice:

I don't know. Thank you for the kind words I can say that, but I don't know. I mean, been around now for a few years helps, of course. I like being out there when a game is on the line and try to play my game. Keep it simple and try to help the team win. That's what everybody wants to do out there. So, I guess it has a little bit to do with being around for as long as I have. So, I'm trying to help my teammates and, as you said, calm everyone down.

On how to prepare for tomorrow against Milwaukee:

No, as you said, it's going to be, I think, a different game tomorrow. Like, they have a good team over there and it's been showing that for the whole year. We got to buckle up and be ready for the first period, especially like the first 10 minutes. Play even more simple than we usually do and try to ride it out from there. Hopefully it'll be a fun game with a lot of people in the stands still. So, looking forward to it.

Head coach Matt McIlvane

On what he liked about the team's game tonight:

Our start, I thought that our start was excellent. It went into the first period to be able to escape with a two-nothing lead, but we're not giving a ton of high danger chances at that point. And then I think that solid play lasted until about seven minutes left in the second and after that, it came from a breakout turnover that led to a big scramble, too many men on the ice penalty. That leads to a goal, turnover that leads to D-zone time, and we just weren't able to sustain it all the way through the second and then I thought that in the third they came out like a team that's down three and they're pushing, and we looked like we were hanging on for way too much of that period. In the end to be able to come out on top against a team like Milwaukee that's big time positive. Our start was extremely competitive. And that's what was the difference in the game.

On the second period:

Second period is a different kind of a period when you have the long change. Your play with the park gets magnified so much because you're so reliant on decision making and execution, to be able to get your teammates off the ice, to be able to get changes you get caught in line changes. It can really have a flow in the period, and I thought honestly for the first bit of the period, we had them have them hemmed in and we caught them in the spin cycle, and by the end we weren't able to sustain it. But we got enough done to get the job done.

On how the team's veteran players led the charge tonight:

They're here for a couple reasons. One is to mentor our kids, provide the example, and two is to help us win hockey games. And that's certainly what happened tonight. But (Gulls forward Chase De Leo) had a great skating game. He got rewarded on the score sheet early, and then made a heck of a play to (Gulls forward Glenn Gawdin) who also I thought had a really strong game, (Gulls forward Andrew Agozzino) scores with the power play goal and then is able to contribute at the end with a big battle to get the puck out with an empty nester. And you know what, it's just talked about three guys, but it was really a solid team effort. And those guys got rewarded on the scoresheet.

On Calle Clang's performance as of late:

Solid. He is playing at the top of his crease. He's calm. He's challenging. It feels as though he's confident in the crease and you know controlling his depth. I think that he's found some great momentum to build on.

On what the message is while finishing out this homestand:

Tomorrow will come fast. There's no hiding behind the fact that we're not proud of our record at home, especially at the start of the season. But to have a homestand like this and an opportunity to be able to close it out, five-and-one it's something I think our fans deserve. I think that it's a great opportunity for our players to be able to show our growth and when you're able to sneak away wins against teams like Coachella and teams like Milwaukee it shows how far we're coming. To be able to sustain it with one more big effort tomorrow would be huge for us.

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