Center Sam Carrick had a natural hat trick of three consecutive goals and two assists leading the San Diego Gulls to a 6-3 victory at Stockton on Sunday, two days after squandering a two-goal third-period lead in a loss to the Heat.
The five points were the most by a Gull in the team’s four seasons in the American Hockey League. The previous record was four on five occasions. The hat trick was the Gulls fourth in the AHL and third natural hat trick.
Carrick’s first goal came 11 minutes, nine seconds into the first period with the Gulls enjoying a two-man advantage. He scored his second 2:20 later, prompting Stockton coach Cail MacLean to take out goaltender Nick Schneider and replace him with Jon Gillies.
Schneider had allowed three goals on 14 shots, beginning with defenseman Simon Benoit’s first goal in his 15 games with Gulls this season, 1:35 into the game, off assists by Carrick and Giovanni Fiore.
Carrick’s third goal came 8:14 into the second period off a Heat turnover behind their net, giving the Gulls a 4-0 lead.
Stockton (10-9-1-0) began its comeback attempt 9:49 into the second period when Morgan Klimchuk put in a rebound of a shot by Josh Healey for his third goal of the season.
Glen Gawdin knocked in a shot from the point by Alan Quine that hit a goal post with seven-tenths of a second left in the second period for a power-play goal.
“That was tough,” Carrick said. “It was one of those where I have to win that faceoff or at least tie it. I take responsibility for that, but at the end of the day, that’s going to happen and you have to move on. You can’t dwell on it too much.”
The Heat pulled within one with 3:19 left in the third period on Andrew Mangiapane’s goal before a crowd at Stockton Arena announced at 2,437.
The Gulls (7-6-1-1) got empty-net goals from Sam Steel and Joseph Blandisi in the final 49 seconds, with Carrick assisting on Steel’s goal.
“It just feels good to get the win and be able to hold on to the lead like we did tonight,” said Carrick, whose team squandered a three-goal lead in a 4-3 loss to the Ontario Reign Wednesday.
“They came with a good push in the third period and there’s still things that we can improve on playing with a lead. At the end of the day, we got the win and that’s what matters.”
The Gulls were outshot, 44-33, including a 21-7 deficit in the third period.
Gulls goaltender Kevin Boyle (5-3-0-0) made 41 saves, the third time in his last four games he made more than 40 saves.
Gillies (4-6-1-0) stopped 16 of 17 shots, but was charged with the loss for allowing what proved to be the game-winning goal, Carrick’s unassisted goal in the second period.
The Gulls scored on one of three power-play opportunities and killed three of the four for the Stockton, the Calgary Flames AHL affiliate.
The Gulls NHL parent team, the Anaheim Ducks, recalled defensemen Andrej Sustr and Andy Welinski from the Gulls earlier Sunday and reassigned defenseman Josh Mahura to the Gulls. Mahura assisted on Carrick’s first goal.
— City News Service
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