San Diego Gulls mascot
The San Diego Gulls mascot. Image from Gulls Facebook page

The San Diego Gulls lost for the first time in their eight games in Tucson over two seasons, allowing two power-play goals in a 5-0 loss to the Roadrunners on Wednesday evening.

“We have to stay out of the penalty box,” Gulls coach Dallas Eakins said. “Our penalty kill is hurting right now and the best way to kill penalties is to not take any.

“As much as I thought we took a good couple of steps forward, tonight’s a good kick in the rear end and a reminder we’re going to have to play one way and one way only if we’re going to win hockey games.”

The Gulls were called for six minor penalties, three by Kalle Kossila, resulting in five power-play opportunities.

Dylan Strome had two goals and two assists for the Pacific Division-leading Roadrunners (9-2-2-1), who had lost to the Gulls in regulation Friday and in a shootout Saturday at Valley View Casino Center.

The Gulls (7-8-1-0) were scoreless in the first period for the sixth time in their past eight games, with Tucson taking a 2-0 lead.

Nick Merkley opened the scoring nine minutes, 43 seconds into the game off an assist by Strome. Strome scored on a power-play goal at 15:12 of the first period.

Defenseman Kyle Wood scored the only goal of the second period at 7:24 of the period before a crowd at the Tucson Convention Center Arena announced at 3,617.

Strome scored on a breakaway 1:48 into the third period. Strome and Jens Looke assisted on Mike Sislo’s power-play goal with 9:56 remaining.

Strome’s four points gave him 22 points for the season, second in the American Hockey League.

Adin Hill made 29 saves for his second shutout in six games this season, third his 50 career AHL games and fourth in his four-season professional career.

The Gulls were shut out for the second time this season.

The Gulls were outshot, 37-29, including a 15-4 disadvantage in the first period. The Gulls have been outshot 12 of their past 13 games.

The Gulls were scoreless on four power-play opportunities, including a two-man advantage in the second period lasting 2:20.

Kevin Boyle made 32 saves for the Gulls, including 13 in both the first and second periods.

The Gulls, the Anaheim Ducks AHL affiliate, are 13-2-0-1 against the Roadrunners, the Arizona Coyotes AHL affiliate.

The Gulls will resume play Friday against the Bakersfield Condors, the Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate, at Valley View Casino Center.

— City News Service