The Gulls confronted a easy state of affairs Wednesday evening in opposition to the Ontario Reign at Pechanga Enviornment: earn a regulation win and they’d lock up a spot within the expanded AHL Calder Cup playoffs.
Much more fascinating, there may be a good probability that the 2 Pacific Division rivals may meet for a best-of-three first-round matchup.
Nonetheless, clinching and particulars for a postseason matchup can have to wait as Ontario rode a hat trick from Martin Frk, stingy protection and 22 saves from Matthew Villalata to a 5-1 victory.
The Gulls (27-29-3-1) have misplaced three straight and go to the Reign (38-15-5-4) Friday evening.
The groups return to Pechanga to conclude the regular-season sequence Saturday evening. The Gulls are 3-7 in opposition to Ontario on the season.
Benoit-Olivier Groulx scored his eleventh aim of the season on a second-period deflection to tie the sport at 1-1, however San Diego was outshot 28-23 and completed 0 for six on the ability play.
Ontario basically iced the victory with third-period objectives from Christian Wolanin (12:46) and Tyler Ward (13:52) throughout a 66-second span.
Frk, one of many AHL’s prime scorers, earned the hat trick on an empty-netter at 17:41 of the third.
The playoff push over the ultimate eight regular-season video games might be a main developmental alternative for a Gulls roster that has performed 14 totally different rookies.
Ahead Blake McLaughlin, who was assigned jersey quantity 22, grew to become the third latest faculty star to make his skilled debut as a Gull.
McLaughlin, a 22-year-old who starred for Frozen 4 finalist Minnesota, was chosen by Anaheim within the third spherical of the 2018 draft and just lately signed a two-year entry-level contract with the membership earlier than being assigned to San Diego.
The 6-foot, 170-pounder, who scored 39 objectives with 67 assists in 142 video games at Minnesota, joins defenseman Drew Helleson (Boston School) and heart Josh Lopina (UMass) as gamers who completed faculty careers this spring and instantly jumped to the professionals.
All three had been on the ice throughout a key stretch of the third interval when the Gulls had been pushing for a tying aim.
Lopina had a shot from the slot that clanged off the put up and McLaughlin’s bid for his first skilled aim later within the interval was pushed apart by Villalta.
Defenseman and group captain Greg Pateryn was again within the lineup for the primary time since going down with a decrease physique damage Feb. 26 in opposition to Henderson.
Carter is a freelance author.