Late Goal Saves Gulls from Scoreless Loss to Chicago Wolves

San Diego Gulls Sam Carrick fist-bumping teammates. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Gulls

The San Diego Gulls were held scoreless until Scott Sabourin caromed the puck off a Chicago Wolves skater with four minutes, six seconds to play in a 3-1 loss Wednesday evening in Rosemont, Illinois.

“It looked like we played last night and they didn’t,” said Gulls coach Dallas Eakins, whose team defeated the Milwaukee Admirals, 5-2, Tuesday night in Milwaukee. “We just couldn’t sustain any pressure.”

In the matchup of the last-place teams in the American Hockey League‘s Pacific and Central divisions, the Gulls were held scoreless in the first period for the 10th time in their past 13 games and outshot for the 15th time in 18 games as they fell to 4-7-0-0 in their past 11 games.

“We were just a little flat-footed tonight, not as good as last night,” said Gulls center Mitch Hults, who assisted on Sabourin’s goal.

Following a scoreless first period, right wing Tyson Wong opened the scoring four minutes, 34 seconds into the second period when he put a shot from in front of the net past Kevin Boyle for his second goal in his 14 games with the Wolves

Chicago increased its lead to 2-0 when Beau Bennett put in a rebound of a shot by defenseman Jake Walman 7:31 into the second period before a crowd at Allstate Arena announced at 3,414.

Ivan Barbashev put in a rebound with 9:03 left in the game for the Wolves, the Vegas Golden Knights AHL affiliate.

The Gulls (9-11-1-0) were outshot, 31-16, including a 16-4 disadvantage in the second period.

Chicago goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo (4-7-1-0) made 15 saves. Boyle (5-6- 1-0) made 28.

The Gulls were scoreless on their lone power-play opportunity and killed all four of the Wolves power-play opportunities.

The Gulls power play is the best in the AHL, scoring 23.8 percent of the time. They are last in penalty killing in the 30-team league at 74.3 percent. The Toronto Marlies, the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ AHL affiliate, lead the league with an 89.3 percentage.

A fight broke out 50 seconds into the game between Gulls right wing Corey Tropp and Chicago defenseman Chris Casto. The fight was the first of the season for both players.

Both players received five-minute major penalties. Tropp was called for kneeing just before the fight.

Rookie defenseman Kevin Lough assisted on Wong and Barbashev’s goals in his debut with the Wolves, a day after signing a professional tryout contract.

Lough had two goals and 12 assists in 21 games for the Adirondack Thunder, the Calgary Flames ECHL affiliate.

The Gulls, the Anaheim Ducks AHL affiliate, will conclude their season- long five-game road trip Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa, facing the Iowa Wild, the Minnesota Wild‘s AHL affiliate.

The Gulls next game at the Valley View Casino Center will be next Wednesday against the Stockton Heat, Calgary Flames‘ AHL affiliate.

— City News Service