The San Diego Gulls fell to the San Jose Barracuda, 5-1. Photo credit: @SDGullsAHL, via Twitter

The San Diego Gulls conclude their season-opening road trip Saturday evening in Stockton, seeking their first victory this season.

The Gulls needed a power-play goal by defenseman Hunter Drew with five minutes, 38 seconds remaining Friday to avoid being shut out. They lost 5-1 to the San Jose Barracuda.

“If you don’t play hard, what happened to us tonight is going to happen to you,” Gulls coach Kevin Dineen said. “There’s a lot of different areas that we have to improve on. Certainly our effort has to be much higher. We left our goalie out to dry way too many times. I was proud of the way (Anthony) Stolarz battled, but your goalie can’t be your hardest working player or else you’re in trouble.”

The Barracuda outshot the Gulls 42-24, including 16-8 in the first period and 18-10 in the second. They went one-for-six on the power play. They allowed goals on two of San Jose’s six power plays.

The Barracuda opened the scoring 15:47 into the first period when Maxim Letunov deflected a Thomas Gregoire shot through Stolarz.

Drew took a pass from Kiefer Sherwood and put a shot from just outside the right faceoff circle for the Gulls goal. Blake Pietila also received an assist.

With the goal, Drew scored his first professional point in his second professional game. The Anaheim Ducks chose him in the sixth round of the 2018 NHL draft.

“It’s nice to score a goal, but I wish it meant a little more,” said Drew, who will turn 21 Oct. 21.  “Late in a loss isn’t exactly how I drew it up, but yeah, it’s nice.”

Stolarz made 37 saves. Josef Korenar made 23 saves for the Barracuda, the San Jose Sharks’ American Hockey League affiliate.

The Gulls took the ice without two players from their season-opening 2-1 loss at Bakersfield. The Gulls’ parent team, the Ducks, recalled left wing Max Comtois and center Isac Lundestrom.

Right wing Corey Tropp became the first Gull during this season to engage in a fight, brawling with Viel 4:23 into the first period.

– City News Service

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