Gulls goalie Reto Berra
Gulls goalie Reto Berra. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Gulls

The San Diego Gulls allowed four consecutive goals after opening the scoring in a 5-3 loss to the Tucson Roadrunners Monday evening in Tucson, Arizona.

The Gulls managed to pull within one, 4-3, on third-period goals by Kevin Roy and Nic Kerdiles, but the Roadrunners sealed the victory on Andrew Campbell’s empty-net goal with 4.1 seconds to play.

The loss was the Gulls second to Tucson in three days. The Anaheim Ducks American Hockey League affiliate lost 4-2 Saturday at Valley View Casino Center, allowing four consecutive goals after taking a 2-0 lead. The two teams will play again Wednesday morning in Tucson.

The Gulls (19-15-1-0) played without two of their three leading scorers, centers Kalle Kossila and Sam Carrick, who did not dress due to upper- body injuries, Gulls communications manager Steve Brown said.

Tucson (20-11-2-1) took the lead for good by scoring twice in the final 29.4 seconds of the first period.

Dylan Strome put a forehand shot over the glove of Gulls goaltender Kevin Boyle with 29.4 seconds left in the first period for his 17th goal of the season, including six against the Gulls in five games.

Mike Sislo put a shot between Boyle’s pads 17.3 seconds later before a crowd at the Tucson Convention Center Arena announced at 3,085.

“It was one of those nights where it was like, `OK we were going to get out of this with a 1-0 lead, we can regroup and get after it,”‘ Gulls coach Dallas Eakins said. “Two ended up in our net very quickly and again, just mental mistakes, something that we haven’t seen a lot from our group over the past few weeks.”

Roadrunners left wing Lawson Crouse scored the second period’s lone goal on one of the team’s four shots in the period. Crouse gave Tucson a 4-1 lead one minute, 44 seconds into the third period when he put a rebound of a shot by Kyle Capobianco for a power-play goal.

Gulls left wing Giovanni Fiore opened the scoring 8:37 into the first period with his first goal since Dec. 1, 14 games ago.

The Gulls were outshot, 30-23, including a 16-3 disadvantage in the first period.

Roy’s goal was the Gulls lone goal on six power-play opportunities. The Gulls league-leading power-play had gone scoreless in 13 consecutive opportunities over three games.

The Gulls killed three of four power-play opportunities for Tucson, which leads the AHL’s Pacific Division.

Boyle (10-7-1-0) made 25 saves as his five-game winning streak ended. Miska Hunter (11-3-0-0) made 20 saves for the Roadrunners, the Arizona Coyotes AHL affiliate.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.