January 21, 2021
The San Diego Gulls fell 4-1 to the San Jose Barracuda tonight and ended an evenly-spaced preseason streak with two games in the FivePoint Arena.
Before the game, the Anaheim Ducks hired goalkeeper Anthony Stolarz, defender Kodie Curran and striker Isac Lundestrom to handle the seagulls. Stolarz spent most of last season in San Diego, setting a 21-12-6 record, starting a new AHL career with a high SV% (0.922), and setting a personal best in wins.
Curran, who signed a two-year contract with Anaheim in June, played the last two seasons with Rogle BK of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and collected 24-62 = 86 points in 97 games. Curran was named SHL MVP and Defender of the Year for the 2019-20 season after scoring 12-37 = 49 points with a rating of +8.
Lundestrom, a selection from Anaheim’s first round (23rd overall round) in the 2018 NHL Draft, scored 6-15 = 21 points in 43 games with San Diego last season.
San Jose attacked early when turnover in the Seagulls offensive zone resulted in a strange rush on the Barracuda. Lean Bergmann put Kurtis Gabriel in front of the net and Gabriel defeated Stolarz for the first goal of the game in just 32 seconds.
“I think they came out very fast early on,” said Gull’s head coach Kevin Dineen. “We felt pretty good after our last game. It was a good lesson for our players to know that this is a pretty good league. There are some good players out there. They hit us and me very hard.” We felt we were unprepared. These are the things you will be happy to learn about in training camp. You play against good players and you have to be prepared every evening. “
The Barracuda built on their lead with some power play goals. The first hit was scored by Jayden Halbgewachs, who avoided a Gulls defender to send a forehand shot past Stolarz past the 4:50 mark of the opening frame.
Later in that period, San Jose faced maneuverability again when Antti Suomela scored a shot from Stolarz, giving Barracuda a 4:42 lead.
In the second half, San Jose scored again. Kyle Topping shot past Stolarz at the 11:18 mark on the mid-frame and extended Barracuda’s lead to four goals.
“We’re a development league and part of the development process isn’t always a smooth journey,” said Dineen. “There will be bumps along the way, whether personally or as a team. I was happy with the course of our game today, but at other times there are some difficult lessons to be learned. That certainly played out tonight.”
Late in the third period, Sam Carrick put the seagulls on the blackboard. Shortly after San Diego finished a minor penalty, Jack Kopacka knocked a loose puck on Sam Carrick in the middle of the ice. Carrick rushed ahead on a runaway, slapping Sam Harvey over the glove with a wrist shot, reducing San Jose’s lead to 4-1, the final score. Carrick scored 3-1 = 4 points in two preseason games.
San Diego is continuing its preseason schedule with a two-game series against the Stockton Heat starting Monday, January 25th (6pm) at FivePoint Arena.