The San Diego Gulls will seek their second victory over the Colorado Eagles in two nights at Valley View Casino Center Saturday evening with left wing Ben Thomson optimistic about his team’s chances.
“Tonight was a great crowd as always and I think we’re going to get another big win for them tomorrow night,” Thomson said after scoring the Gulls first goal in Friday night’s 4-3 victory before a sellout crowd announced at 12,920.
Chase De Leo and Sam Carrick each had a goal and an assist in their returns to the Gulls from their NHL parent team, the Anaheim Ducks.
De Leo scored what proved to be the game-winning goal with five minutes, 38 seconds to play, off Carrick’s assist.
The scoring sequence began with Gulls right wing Corey Tropp leveling a hit on Eagles defenseman Sergei Boikov in the left faceoff circle in the Colorado zone that caused the puck to slide to Carrick.
Carrick sent a backhanded pass to De Leo who put a shot from the left faceoff circle past Eagles goaltender Pavel Francouz for his third goal in his nine games with the Gulls.
Colorado (6-3-2-0) tied the score, 3-3, with 9:39 remaining when Michael Joly put in a rebound for a power-play goal in the American Hockey League expansion team’s first game against the Gulls.
Carrick gave the Gulls a 2-1 lead 8:26 into the second period with his team-leading sixth goal in nine games. De Leo and Giovanni Fiore were credited with the assists.
The Ducks announced earlier Friday they had re-assigned Carrick and defenseman Andy Welinski to the Gulls.
The 26-year-old Carrick was recalled by the Ducks on Sunday and made his NHL debut that day, playing 6:54 in 12 shifts, not taking a shot and being penalized for tripping in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Carrick also played in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings and Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames.
“Seeing him come in after being sent down, sometimes guys come in and they’re going through an adjustment,” Gulls coach Dallas Eakins said after his team improved to 4-4-1-1. “I thought he was one of the best players on the ice tonight.
“You usually don’t see that often when a guy comes down like that. Usually, the guy is down a little bit, maybe he’s feeling sorry for himself, or maybe he’s extremely peeved off. He put it behind him and I just thought he was a force on the ice tonight.”
De Leo was recalled by Anaheim on Tuesday, but was a scratch for that night’s loss to the Kings. De Leo was reassigned to the Gulls on Wednesday.
De Leo has been recalled by the Ducks twice this season, but has not played a game with them. His NHL career consists of two games with the Winnipeg Jets in the 2015-16 season.
Rookie right wing Troy Terry put in a rebound to give the Gulls a 3-2 lead with 13:23 remaining, extending his team-record record point streak to begin an AHL career to seven games.
Terry’s seven-game point streak is the longest by an AHL rookie this season.
The Eagles tied the scored 2-2 with 4:12 left in the second period when rookie center Josh Dickinson stole the puck from behind the Gulls’ net and scored a short-handed goal.
The goal was Dickinson’s first in his 11-game professional career over two seasons.
Colorado opened the scoring 15:24 into the first period on a slap shot from the blue line by defenseman Mason Geertsen, his first goal in 10 games this season with the Colorado Avalanche’s AHL affiliate.
Thomson tied the score 1-1 5:07 into the second period, deflecting a shot by Simon Benoit into the net for his third goal in 10 games this season with the Gulls.
The Gulls led in shots, 38-29, including a 13-8 advantage in the second period and a 12-9 edge in the third.
Kevin Boyle (2-2-0-0) made 26 saves for the Gulls. Francouz (6-2-0-0) made 34 saves.
The Gulls were scoreless in their three power-play opportunities and killed two of the Eagles’ three.
“That was a fast-paced game, about as quick as we’ve seen this year,” Eakins said. “It was an electric crowd. I really thought our crowd had a real positive effect on our team tonight.”
–City News Service
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