The Gulls (29-17-3-3) took a 2-0 lead 14 minutes, 53 seconds into the game on goals by Chase De Leo and Kalle Kossila, then allowed the final five goals.
“I don’t think we took this game as seriously as we needed to and it showed,” Gulls center Sam Carrick said. “Left (Kevin Boyle) out to dry there for sure.”
Boyle was returned on loan to the Gulls from their NHL parent team, the Anaheim Ducks, earlier Friday after they deemed John Gibson had recovered from a concussion and having four wisdom teeth removed to be able to play for the first time since Feb. 7.
Boyle had a 1-3-0 record with a 2.17 goals-against average, .928 save percentage and one shutout in five games with the Ducks since being recalled Feb. 8.
Coincidentally, Boyle (19-8-1-0) also allowed five goals in his most recent previous game with the Gulls, a 6-3 loss to Ontario on Feb. 6. He also allowed five goals Jan. 19 in a 6-2 loss to the Bakersfield Condors.
The Gulls were scoreless on four power-play opportunities and allowed a short-handed goal by Glenn Gawdin at 11:52 of the second period that gave the Heat a 4-2 lead.
“We’re going to look at some different setups,” Gulls coach Dallas Eakins said. “The first one they got shorthanded was a guy wide and not a massive breakdown. We just have to get better control on that power play and quit throwing the puck away when we have it.”
Center Dillon Dube assisted on Tyler Graovac’s first-period goal, Buddy Robinson’s second-period goal and scored the lone third-period goal with 6:05 left for Stockton (23-25-4-1).
Defenseman Juuso Valimaki tied the score, 2-2, 8:10 into the second period with his second goal in 12 games for the Heat, the Calgary Flames American Hockey League affiliate.
The Gulls were outshot, 43-36, including 22-10 in the first period.
Stockton goaltender Jon Gillies (11-14-4-0) made 32 saves before a crowd at Stockton Arena announced at 3,141.
The Gulls killed all four of the Heat’s power-play opportunities.
Defenseman Patrick Sieloff made his debut with the Gulls, five days after he was acquired by the Ducks from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for left wing Brian Gibbons and loaned to the Gulls one day later.
The teams will meet again Saturday at Stockton and Wednesday at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
— City News Service