The undefeated San Diego Gulls took their second game in two days from the Colorado Eagles Sunday, boosting them to their best start in six seasons in the American Hockey League.
The Gulls started 4-0-0-0 in the 2015-16 season, their first in the AHL.
They won 3-2 in OT Sunday as Jamie Drysdale scored the game-winning goal at FivePoint Arena in Irvine, their temporary home due to the pandemic. The Gulls also became only the second Pacific Division team to start a season 5-0-0-0.
Drysdale, a rookie defenseman, delivered the win in dramatic fashion, scoring just moments after Colorado evened the game with 13.4 seconds left in regulation.
San Diego has allowed nine goals through five games, the fewest in club history. The Gulls also lead the American Hockey League in wins and points (10).
“We all just trust in our system, and trust in the skill and talent we have,” Andrew Poturalski said. “If we play hard and outwork other teams, we know our skill and talent will prevail.”
In Saturday’s 3-2 win, Vinny Lettieri scored twice, including the tie-breaking goal midway through the third period.
Lettieri was among three players assigned to the Gulls Saturday by their NHL parent team, the Anaheim Ducks. The other two also contributed to that day’s victory. Goaltender Anthony Stolarz made 31 saves. Center Andrew Agozzino assisted on the tie-breaking goal.
Sam Carrick also hit a milestone with his power-play goal at 5:39 of the second period Saturday – his 158th point as a Gull, the most by any player during their tenure in the American Hockey League. He had shared the record with Corey Tropp.
Saturday’s victory was Gulls’ coach Kevin Dineen’s 300th in the AHL over eight seasons, including six as coach of the Portland Pirates from 2005-11. They were the Ducks’ AHL affiliate from 2005-2008. His AHL career record is 300-176-33-35.
The weekend games were the Eagles’ first after the death of founder, Ralph Backstrom, who died last Sunday at the age of 83. Backstrom played 17 seasons in the NHL, winning six Stanley Cup championships with the Montreal Canadiens.
Lettieri, 26, signed as a free agent by the Ducks Oct. 10, after scoring two goals and assisting on six others in 46 games with the New York Rangers over two seasons.
Stolarz, 27, is 6-7-4 with a 2.99 goals against average in 26 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers and Ducks. He had a 21-12-6 record with a 2.66 goals against average with the Gulls last season.
Agozzino, 30, scored two goals and assisted on six others in 44 NHL games with the Ducks, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Avalanche.
San Diego finishes its six-game homestand at 7 p.m. Wednesday against the Bakersfield Condors.
City News Service contributed to this report.