Playing in his native state, Sherwood put the rebound of a shot by Brian Cooper into an open net on his second shot as a professional.
“When the whole thing went down, I knew the goalie was going to dive and the defenseman was going to go down,” said Sherwood, a center who joined the Gulls on an amateur tryout after signing a two-year entry-level contract with their NHL parent team, the Anaheim Ducks, Tuesday.
“I just made sure to put it past them.”
The scoring sequence began when Cleveland goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks mishandled the puck and his errant pass was intercepted by Gulls left wing Kalle Kossila, whose shot was saved, with the rebound going to Cooper.
Sherwood was born in Columbus, OH, and played the past three seasons with Miami University, scoring 34 goals and assisting on 52 others for 86 points in 106 games.
Sherwood, who will turn 23, March 31, played three seasons with the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League before his college career, scoring 42 goals and and assisting on 48 others for 90 points in 126 games.
“With Kiefer Sherwood coming in, you’re never sure what you’re going to get,” Gulls coach Dallas Eakins said. “But we did notice right away though the first couple days of practice that he’s a worker, he’s asking lots of questions, which is great. I thought he just played a really solid game. What a way to finish off your first game as a pro.”
The Gulls (33-21-3-1) third victory in four games keeps them percentage points ahead of the Ontario Reign (33-21-4-2) in the race for second place in the American Hockey League‘s Pacific Division and home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. The Gulls have 10 games left to play in the regular season, two more than the Reign.
The Gulls led in shots, 41-33, including a 16-7 advantage in the first period, which ended in a 1-1 tie.
Gulls goaltender Reto Berra (16-8-2-0) made 30 saves, including three in overtime. Kivlenieks (12-17-4-0) made a season-high 37 in his second consecutive overtime loss.
The Gulls killed their only shorthanded situation, which came midway through the third period as they tried to protect a one-goal lead. The Gulls scored on one of three power plays. They lead the AHL by scoring on 22 percent of their power plays.
The score was tied three times. The Monsters (21-34-7-3) scored the final goal of regulation with 3:18 left in the third period when Jordan Schroeder capitalized on the Gulls multiple unsuccessful attempts to clear the zone.
The Gulls regained the lead 1:54 into the third period when defenseman Jacob Larsson scored from the point for the first three-point game of his 51-game North American professional career. He also assisted on Escondido native Austin Ortega’s first-period goal and Corey Tropp’s second-period power- play goal.
Tropp’s goal 12:00 into the second period gave him 100 points in 117 games with the Gulls, the first player to reach that milestone in their three seasons in the AHL.
Ortega also assisted on Tropp’s goal for his first multi-point game in 27 games with the Gulls over two seasons.
Alex Broadhurst scored in the first period and Spencer Naas in the second for Cleveland, the Columbus Blue Jackets AHL affiliate, before a crowd at Quicken Loans Arena announced at 15,290.
The two teams will meet again Sunday in Cleveland.
— City News Service
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