Gulls Up 2-0 Over Condors

Photo: San Diego Gulls

By Thomas Harrington

The San Diego Gulls have started off the second round on the right foot, winning the first two games in Bakersfield with games three and four in San Diego. The Gulls are now undefeated on the road in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Gulls Get Reinforcements 

Before game one of this series started, it was announced that the Gulls would be getting some reinforcements for an already deep forward lineup. Max Comtoisjunior career had come to an end, Isac Lundestrom’s season in Sweden was over, and Kevin Roy was finally healthy after a foot injury kept him out of the first round and the end of the regular season. Those three were all inserted into the lineup and made up San Diego’s fourth line in game one. It was Comtois’ and Lundestrom’s first career AHL playoff game.

Game 1: Gulls Win Longest Game In Franchise History

In game one, Jeff Glass was back in net after his stellar work against San Jose. Neither team found the back of the net in the first period. This was the first game for the Gulls this postseason where neither team scored in the opening period. Midway through the second period, Bakersfield scored a shorthanded goal to make it 1-0. As with every game in the first round, the Gulls found themselves letting the other team score first. In the third, just 32 seconds into the final period of regulation, Justin Kloos scored to tie the game at 1-1. Four minutes later Bakersfield regained the lead. Just 11 seconds after that, Sam Carrick scored to tie the game back up, and the third ended with the two teams tied at 2-2.

In overtime, both teams had chances, but San Diego had the edge in play through the first overtime period. Max Jones was penalized for high sticking, but the Gulls were able to kill off the penalty. Neither team was able to find the back of the net, and the game went to double overtime. From double overtime, the game went to triple overtime, and then to quadruple overtime. Both teams were clearly tiring, but they weren’t giving up and both were pushing for the winning goal. Finally, just over four minutes into the fourth period of overtime, Comtois scored the game-winner, assisted by Roy and Simon Benoit. Comtois ended the longest game in Gulls’ history and the fifth-longest game in AHL history. Glass made 51 saves on 53 shots, a new San Diego record for saves in a game.

Game 2: Comtois Delivers Again

There was no rest for the weary, as the very next night, really the same day as when game one ended, game two started. With so many tired bodies, the Gulls made a few lineup changes. Glass was given the night off and Kevin Boyle was in net for the first time since game one against San Jose. On defense, Josh Mahura came out and Jake Dotchin was in. At forward, Roy came out and Adam Cracknell took his place on the fourth line.

Late in the first period of game two, for the first time this postseason, Kiefer Sherwood scored to give the Gulls the 1-0 lead. Early in the second, Cracknell made a great pass and Comtois scored his second goal in as many games. In the third, the Condors started their push back and Bakersfield got on the board to make it 2-1. They kept pushing, but Boyle stood tall, making several strong saves. Unfortunately, Boyle was hit in the head in the third and left the game. Despite playing a ton the night before, Glass came in with just over 11 minutes left in the third. He continued his strong play, stopping the shots that came his way, and with just over five minutes to go in regulation, Lundestrom scored his first career goal in North America on a great shot.

Late in the third, Bakersfield pulled their goalie, and Cracknell scored into the empty net, giving the Gulls the 4-1 win and 2-0 series. Every single member of San Diego’s fourth line scored a goal, and both Cracknell and Lundestrom finished the game with three points. Lundestrom became the youngest Gull to record three points in a playoff game. Comtois scored the game-winner for the second straight night. Despite not finishing the game, Boyle picked up his first win of the playoffs.

Series Shifts To San Diego

With a 2-0 series lead, the Gulls have control of this series, but they will need to be even better if they want to close out this series. Game three will be this Wednesday in San Diego, and game four is Friday in San Diego. If needed, game five will be Saturday, back in Bakersfield. Game six will be the following Monday in San Diego. If the series goes to a seventh game, it will be a week from Wednesday, back in Bakersfield.

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May 7th, 2019


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