Through a scoreless first period, the Gulls penalty kill unit was put to the test as the team struggled to stay out of the box, and managed to answer the call holding the Heat scoreless headed into the second. However, the momentum had shifted and the Heat managed to dominate the offensive zone for much of the second period, putting the team on the defensive through the first ten minutes.
The Gulls managed to get on the board first with a goal by Nick Ritchie, his fifth on the season but gave up the lead on a short-handed goal from the Heat. The intensity of the game heated up as the second progressed with tempers flaring and a near goal from the Heat that sent goaltender John Gibson to the ground with what would be a strained back. Gibson remained in goal throughout the remainder of the second.
A goal late in the second by Gulls forward, Max Friberg sent the team into the locker room with the lead, but one that wouldn’t last when in the final minutes of regulation, the Heat managed to tally a tying goal on goaltender Matt Hackett who was put in to replace the injured Gibson at the start of the third.
The Gulls fell into more penalty trouble in the overtime period but managed to hold off the Heat and sent the game into a shootout that was scoreless until the Gulls Michael Sgarbossa put the puck through goaltender Jon Gilles legs securing the win.
Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins knew discipline was a problem early on but praised his penalty kill unit for keeping the team in the game.
“The penalty kill was really good, it was good last game and you certainly don’t want to get down early like that. If they score early it’s a tough game to come back from,” said Eakins.
When asked for an update on Gibson’s injury and why they made the decision to pull him out during the third, Eakins said, “he strained his back and it was not something we wanted to fool around with so we pulled him out of the game and we will readdress it tomorrow.”
“You never want to give up a goal on the power play, and nothing happened in overtime, we did a great job killing penalties and a flip of the coin in the shootout and luckily we got the win,” said Sgarbossa on his game-winning shootout goal.
— AHL (@TheAHL) October 31, 2015
Tonight’s Gulls line combinations:
Nick Ritchie – Michael Sgarbossa – Max Friberg
Harry Zolniercyzk – Chris Mueller – Stefan Noesen
Bryan Moore – Matt Bailey – Antoine Laganiere
Joseph Cramarossa – Nicolas Kerdiles – Brian McGrattan
Shea Theodore – Jaycob Megna
Stu Bickel – Andrew O’Brien
Brandon Montour – Shane O’Brien