Kevin Boyle , John McCarthy, San Jose Barracuda
San Diego Gulls goaltender Kevin Boyle makes a save against San Jose Barracuda forward John McCarthy. Photo courtesy of the San Jose Barracuda

Kevin Boyle stopped 34 of 35 shots as the San Diego Gulls continued their recent dominance of the formerly league-leading San Jose Barracuda with a 5-1 victory Sunday evening in San Jose.

The Gulls killed all six of San Jose’s power-play opportunities, including a 96-second two-man advantage in the second period, for their third consecutive victory over the Barracuda since Dec. 15.

The Gulls were playing their third game in four days, including a 3-2 overtime victory at Bakersfield on Saturday night. San Jose was playing its second game in that span and was idle Saturday.

“I knew that most of us felt a little more drained,” said Gulls rookie left wing Max Jones, who scored in the first period and assisted on two third-period goals. “We got in late … we didn’t have the best legs or the best mindset.”

The Gulls took a 3-0 lead on first-period goals by Chase De Leo and Jones and Sam Steel’s goal 6:23 into the third period.

John McCarthy scored what proved to be the Barracuda’s lone goal with six seconds left in the second period before a crowd at the SAP Center at San Jose announced at 3,666.

“Getting scored on with six seconds left in the second period, some teams would have crumbled and we didn’t,” Gulls assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre said.

“We came out in the third period early dedicated to managing the puck. We came out with a mindset that there’s no turning around and we’re going to win that game.”

The Gulls, the Anaheim Ducks American Hockey League affiliate, killed off another penalty in the third period and limited San Jose to four shots.

Gulls center Sam Carrick scored his 17th goal, most among Pacific Division players, with five minutes, 58 seconds to play, and Troy Terry added an empty-net goal with 1:54 left.

“I thought our guys battled really hard right until the end, especially the third period,” Lefebvre said. “We played a really, really strong third period. Our puck management was probably the best in a few games.”

The Gulls were outshot, 35-17, including a 13-5 disadvantage in the first period and 18-5 in the second. The Gulls failed to score on each of their three power-play opportunities.

Antoine Bibeau (6-5-1-2) allowed four goals on 12 shots for the Barracuda, the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate.

The victory extended the Gulls (14-11-1-3) season-high standings point streak to eight games on six victories and two shootout losses.

In the AHL, teams receive two points for any type of victory and one point for a loss in overtime or a shootout.

This was the first time this season the Gulls had won back-to-back road games. They entered Sunday’s play with the AHL’s second-lowest points percentage on the road, .364 on a 3-6-0-2 record, ahead of only the San Antonio Thunder’s .233 (3-11-1-0).

Boyle (10-5-0-0) won his fifth consecutive game, his second-longest streak in his three seasons in the AHL.

Center Jake Marchment engaged in his second fight in his five games with the Gulls, brawling with San Jose defenseman Jeremy Roy with 14:41 left and the Gulls leading 3-1. Both players received five-minute major penalties.

The Barracuda (18-6-1-3) entered the game with a league-best .741 points percentage, but the loss dropped them to second in the category at .714 behind the Charlotte Checkers (24-8-2-0), who have a .735 points percentage.

The Gulls will resume play Wednesday at Bakersfield.

— City News Service

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