The San Diego Gulls returned home Wednesday night looking to break a five-game losing streak, facing off against the Texas Stars. Unfortunately, the team could not shake the troubles from their recent four-game road trip, as bad turnovers and sloppy defense eventually led to their sixth straight loss.
Despite coming out and playing a strong first period, the Gulls found themselves trailing 1-0 after Brian McGrattan took a tripping penalty and Brendan Ranford converted on a breakaway, putting the Stars up 1-0 and shifting momentum in the Stars favor.
San Diego kept plenty of pressure on Stars goaltender Jack Campbell in the second frame but were unable to convert on their only power play opportunity. Meanwhile, Texas continued to capitalize on sloppy defense and bad turnovers; including notching a pair of goals just 32 seconds apart. By this time, the Gulls seemed to lose all steam, allowing more than twice as many shots on goal to their visiting opponent and forcing goaltender Matt Hackett to continuously perform acrobatics in net, attempting to keep the game close.
Forward Michael Sgarbossa, back with the team after spending some time with the Anaheim Ducks, buried a puck early in the third period to give the Gulls some life. Feeding off that burst of energy, San Diego quickly added another marker by forward Joseph Cramarossa, igniting the team and crowd. When defenseman Brandon Montour converted on a loose puck sitting behind Campbell’s pads, he brought them within one.
Yet, forward Travis Morin took the wind out of the Gulls sails, scoring another Stars goal to secure their victory and hand the Gulls a sixth straight loss.
San Diego head coach Dallas Eakins felt his team just “stood around and watched them [the Stars] play” for the first two periods, and would not pin all the recent call-ups from the Ducks as a factor contributing to, or as an excuses for, his club’s string of losses. “Every guy in that room wants to go play in Anaheim if you get called up you’re playing in a new locker room with new guys, so if that’s your endgame, if that’s your goal, it shouldn’t be a big deal to play with new guys here.”
NOTE: After the game, Campbell was recalled to the NHL by the Dallas Stars.
Gulls line combinations:
Antoine Laganiere – Michael Sgarbossa – Max Friberg
Nicolas Kerdiles – Ryan Walters – Stefan Noesen
Kyle Bonis – Matt Bailey – Brian McGrattan
Joseph Cramarossa – Kenny Ryan – Tim Jackman
Shane O’Brien – Shea Theodore
Jaycob Megna – Brandon Montour
Andrew O’Brien – Stu Bickel
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com