Corey Tropp scored twice and Kevin Boyle made 46 saves as the San Diego Gulls defeated the Bakersfield Condors, 4-1, Friday evening at Valley View Casino Center on Willie O’Ree Night.
Troy Terry had a goal and assist to extend his team-record point streak to begin an American Hockey League career to nine games and Isac Lundestrom had two assists in his debut with the Gulls.
“I thought it was an overall good team effort,” said Boyle, who also stopped Luke Esposito’s first-period penalty shot as he improved to 3-2-0-0.
“We had a great weekend last weekend with two hard-fought wins and we came in here and we kept the momentum going, which is huge for us. We got some bounces that went our way. At the beginning of the season, some of those didn’t go our way and tonight they did.”
Tropp opened the scoring seven minutes, five seconds into the first period before a crowd announced at 10,020.
The Gulls increased their lead to 2-0 1:25 into the second period on Chase De Leo’s fourth goal of the season.
Tropp scored a power-play goal 1:08 later off assists by Lundestrom and Terry.
Tropp’s second goal prompted Bakersfield coach Jay Woodcroft to replace goalie Al Montoya with Shane Starrett after Montoya (4-2-0-0) allowed three goals on 16 shots.
Terry scored a power-play goal at 18:09 of the second period, off assists by Josh Mahura and Lundestrom. Terry’s point streak is the longest current streak in the AHL and matches the longest streak this season.
Ryan Stanton ended Boyle’s bid for a shutout by scoring the lone goal of the third period with 4:24 remaining. The goal was Stanton’s first in his 10 games with the Condors (7-4-0-0), the Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate.
The Gulls were outshot, 47-40, including a 21-12 deficit in the third period.
Starrett stopped 23 of 24 shots.
The Gulls scored on two of their seven power-play opportunities and killed both of Bakersfield’s power-play opportunities.
“I thought our power play was excellent,” Gulls coach Dallas Eakins said after his team won its third consecutive game to improve to 5-4-1-1. “I thought we were fairly responsible too.
“I’d rather not sit back on a lead like we did in the third period. I thought we sat back and let them come at us. But there were a lot of positives after a long week of practice. It’s a weird week playing only one game but we were prepared for them and were able to exploit them.”
Lundestrom, the Anaheim Ducks first-round choice in the 2018 NHL draft, was assigned to the Gulls by their NHL parent team on Sunday. He had two assists in 15 games with the Ducks.
Tropp also engaged in his first fight of the season, brawling with Bakersfield right wing Jesse Puljujarvi 2:04 into the third period.
The Gulls honored O’Ree four days after he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame for his role as the NHL’s diversity ambassador. The team wore throwback jerseys matching what O’Ree wore when he played for Western Hockey League version of the Gulls from 1967-74.
“It’s a humbling experience for me personally and I know our staff and players feel the same,” Eakins said. “It’s such a privilege to have Willie around. He’s always around and always available. He’s such a kind soul. I think he’s just a great example of a human being we should all aspire to be.”
— City News Service
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