Loss Has Gulls on the Brink
San Diego fell 5-2 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals to the Chicago Wolves and now trail the best-of-seven series 3-2.
Adam Cracknell scored his team-leading seventh goal at 4:57 of the first period to open the scoring. Cracknell continues to lead San Diego with 16 points (7-9=16) and ranks second among AHL leaders in scoring and third in goals.
Jacob Larsson netted his second goal at 3:57 of the third period, his second point in as many games (1-1=2).
Trevor Murphy recorded two assists to mark his second multi-point game of the series (also Game 3 on May 22; 1-1=2). Murphy has collected 1-3=4 points the last three games in addition to 1-5=6 points in the postseason.
Simon Benoit tallied his third assist of the playoffs on the Cracknell goal.
Kevin Boyle made 22 saves in his fourth consecutive start of the series.
Tonight's attendance was 9,022. San Diego averaged 9,505 fans per game in the Western Conference Finals. With crowds of 7,345 in Game 1, 12,005 in Game 2 and 9,022 in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, San Diego has had three of the four highest-attended games of the 2019 playoffs (Charlotte had the third-highest with 9,342 in Game 3 of the First Round on Apr. 23).
The Western Conference Finals returns to Chicago for Game 6 on Monday, May 27 at Allstate Arena (5 p.m. PT).
San Diego Gulls
On the series
This isn't the position we wanted to be in leaving three games at home, but that's where we're at. We have to embrace the opportunity and move forward, not dwell on this one. Hopefully, we'll be playing two games by the end of this week.
On the goals against
I wouldn't say those are all mistakes. It just happens. It's part of the game. Those guys shouldn't dwell on that. It happens. We shouldn't have been in that position. We didn't have a very good response in the first period with a couple goals against. We put ourselves in that situation. We were closer at the end and it happens. We just move on. Those guys are good pros and they'll bounce back. We'll be ready to go for Monday.
On the team offense
We're not executing as well as we should be. I don't think we've seen our best game and we know we haven't played our best game. We have no excuses on Monday. We have to bring our best game or it's the last game of the year. Right now, we have to refocus, get our minds right, and go into a barn where we've won a game. We played well. Hopefully we can continue that trend.
Head Coach Dallas Eakins
On the game
Obviously, some crazy things happened. I liked our start. I thought we came ready to play. We looked very prepared, but then we just couldn't sustain it. They started pushing back and they were checking very well. Every time in that offensive zone, especially in the second period, we were getting chances at their net, but they would get a stick on it or the secondary guy would block it. That's playoff hockey, guys going the extra mile to get in front of pucks. I still think we can win a lot more battles. This isn't about X's and O's and all that type of hockey. This is getting inside and treating that puck like it's your wallet. We have to have that puck and we have to find a way to win it. Obviously, a couple of the goals tonight were crazy. One goes off our guy's face right onto their stick and another one is just a very fluke play where we're looking to keep control of the puck and it ends up back in our own net. We'll shake it off. These games are tight. Every one of them is going to be tight. The good thing for our team is we've been good on the road in these playoffs. We'll look forward to going into Chicago, again.
On the own-goal
It happens quickly. He's making the right play. We don't want to go ahead and give them the puck. We want to take our man advantage as long as we can. We had another one like that earlier this season. Same thing happened. It's the right play, it was just in the air a bit, a little too far inside and it ends up in our net. It's not even a mistake, it's a fluke. You could probably go through the next 10 years of me coaching and I probably won't see another one.
On bouncing back from the loss
This is nothing new for our team. Mid-November or late November, we were in last place. We didn't have a playoff spot going into the last two games of the season. We didn't have home ice in Round 1. We didn't have home ice in Round 2. We don't have it now. I just don't think our guys give a damn about that. They're going to dig in. It doesn't matter to them. They'll do their best to show some resolve.
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American Hockey League Stories from May 26, 2019
- Checkers Announce Home Dates for Calder Cup Finals - Charlotte Checkers
- Charlotte Checkers Win Richard F. Canning Trophy as AHL's Eastern Conference Champions - AHL
- Rampage Defenseman Niko Mikkola Wins Gold at IIHF World Championship - San Antonio Rampage
- Marlies Set for Game 6 in Charlotte - Toronto Marlies
- Wolves One Win from Calder Cup Finals - Chicago Wolves
- Loss Has Gulls on the Brink - San Diego Gulls
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