The San Diego Gulls were shut out for the second consecutive night Saturday evening by the Colorado Eagles after not being held scoreless during the first 26 games of the season at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
Spencer Martin (8-9-2-0) stopped all 28 shots and Colorado killed both of the Gulls power-play opportunities in a 2-0 victory before a crowd announced at 10,549.
“They did a good job of keeping five guys right in front of their net and limiting our chances in front of their goaltender,” right wing Corey Tropp said after the Gulls (30-20-3-3) lost their third consecutive game and remained tied with San Jose (30-18-2-4) in the race for second place in the Pacific Division and home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Calder Cup playoffs.
“We had some good looks tonight, but we didn’t do enough to get traffic to capitalize.”
Center Tim McGauley opened the scoring 12 minutes, 27 seconds into the first period with his second goal in 13 games with the Eagles. Left wing A.J. Greer, who assisted on McGauley’s goal, scored his 16th goal with 2:54 left in the third period.
Gulls goaltender Kevin Boyle (19-9-1-0) made 28 saves in his first appearance since March 1.
“He was awesome,” Gulls coach Dallas Eakins said. “He really sucked it up. He hasn’t practiced in a number of days with his injury, but he decided it didn’t matter what was wrong with his body, he was going to get in there.
“I think it was a great step for him. He’s really got his feet underneath him as a goaltender, he’s had good development, and I think he took a big step leadership-wise tonight.”
The Gulls were outshot, 30-28, including 11-6 in the third period.
The Gulls killed all four power-play opportunities for Colorado (30-22- 3-1), which moved within two points of the Gulls. Both teams have played 56 games, two less than San Jose. Teams in the American Hockey League’s Pacific Division play 68 games during the regular season.
There were two fights in the first period. Tropp and Eagles defenseman Mason Geertsen fought at 5:32 of the first period. Gulls defenseman Trevor Murphy and Colorado right wing Logan O’Connor fought at 14:39 of the first period.
All four players received five-minute major penalties.
Pavel Francouz made 24 saves Friday night in a 1-0 victory by the Eagles, the Colorado Avalanche’s AHL affiliate.
The Gulls, the Anaheim Ducks AHL affiliate, will next play Wednesday at Bakersfield (36-17-2-1), the Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate which has won 20 of its past 22 games and leads the Pacific Division.
— City News Service