Gulls Kevin Boyle
San Diego Gulls guard Kevin Boyle. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Gulls

Spencer Abbott had two goals and two assists after missing two games and Eric Fehr scored twice in his debut with the San Diego Gulls in an 8-3 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners Friday evening.

The eight goals equaled the Gulls single-game high in their three seasons in the American Hockey League. Both of their other eight-goal games came last season against Tucson.

The Gulls, the Anaheim Ducks AHL affiliate had combined for six goals in their previous three games, all losses.

“Things haven’t been going great here lately,” Abbott said, referring to the Gulls four losses in five games entering Friday’s play. “We want to be better for the fans and the city of San Diego.”

Abbott’s four points tied the franchise’s AHL record, first set by Brandon Montour, then tied by Andy Welinski.

“It was just one of those nights where everything fell into place,” Abbott said. “We got a couple of lucky ones and things built off of that for the rest of the game.”

Abbott’s four points tied his AHL career-high. He also had a four-point game April 7, 2015 while playing for the Rockford IceHogs.

Mitch Hults and Welinski also had a goal and two assists for Gulls (6-7- 1-0).

The Gulls scored twice in the first period after being shut out in the first period four of their previous five games. Hults opened the scoring five minutes, 15 seconds in to the game and assisted on Mike Liambas’ goal 4:19 later.

The Gulls increased their lead to 4-1 as Fehr scored 59 seconds in the second period and Kyle Thomas at 3:36 of the second period.

Thomas’ goal prompted Roadrunners coach Mike Van Ryn to replace goaltender Adin Hill (2-2-1-0) with Hunter Miska after allowing four goals on 15 shots.

Abbott scored a power-play goal with 9:53 left in the second period before a crowd announced at 9,049 at Valley View Casino Center.

Welinski, Fehr and Abbott scored power-play goals in the third period helping the Gulls improve to 12-1-0-1 in their two seasons against Tucson, the Arizona Coyotes AHL affiliate.

Lane Peterson scored in the first period for the Pacific Division-leading Roadrunners (8-2-2-0), Conor Garland in the second and Dylan Strome in the third, with the final two goals coming on the power play.

The Gulls outshot Tucson, 36-34, including an 18-10 advantage in the second period, after being outshot for 10 consecutive games.

Gulls goaltender Kevin Boyle (4-4-1-0) made 31 saves for the victory after three consecutive losses, including one in overtime.

Miska allowed four goals on 21 shots over the final 36:24.

The Gulls scored on four of their nine power-play opportunities and killed four of the Roadrunners six.

Tucson was 8-0-2-0 since a season-opening 7-6 loss to the Gulls Oct. 7 entering Friday’s game.

Abbott had missed the previous two games because of a lower-body injury.

The Gulls had announced earlier Friday that the Toronto Maple Leafs assigned the 32-year-old Fehr to the Gulls. Fehr, a center, was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins 2016 Stanley Cup-winning team and has played 556 NHL games, with 103 goals and 99 assists.

Center Ryan White also made his debut with the Gulls on Friday after reaching agreement on a professional tryout. The 29-year-old center was scoreless, taking two shots, and drawing a 10-minute misconduct with 8:08 remaining.

The two teams will meet again Saturday night at Valley View Casino Center.

—  City News Service