Ontario Reign snap Gulls’ 6-game home winning streak
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Gulls six-game home winning streak ended Tuesday as Sean Backman scored what proved to be the winning goal with one minute, 35 seconds to play in a 3-2 loss to the Ontario Reign.
Backman stopped a rolling puck outside of the crease, faked around Gulls goaltender Dustin Tokarski and ended a 14-game goal-less streak with his third goal of the season.
The Reign, the Los Angeles Kings American Hockey League affiliate, tied the score, 2-2, 4:51 into the third period when Michael Latta took a pass from Joel Lowry and scored his second goal of the season.
The Gulls (11-9-0-1) took a 2-1 lead 31 seconds into the third period when Nick Sorensen put a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle past Ontario goaltender Jack Campbell for his third goal of the season.
Following a scoreless first period where the Gulls were outshot, 14-9, Reign defenseman Zach Leslie opened the scoring 10:54 into the second period before a crowd announced at 6,112 at Valley View Casino Center.
The Gulls, the Anaheim Ducks AHL affiliate, tied the score with 1:29 left in the second period when Chris Wagner stole the puck from Ontario captain Vincent LoVerde and scored a shorthanded goal.
Campbell stopped 18 of 20 shots for the Reign (11-5-5-0). Tokarski stopped 29 of 32 shots as his six-game winning streak ended.
“We’ve made some mistakes over the past three games that are uncharacteristic for us,” said Tokarski, whose team lost 3-0 at San Jose on both Saturday and Sunday. We have to clean it up and find a way to come out this weekend and play some good hockey.”
The Gulls killed all for of Ontario’s power-play opportunities and were scoreless in their lone power-play opportunity.
“I thought we played pretty well tonight,” Gulls coach Dallas Eakins said. “When you give up one late like that it is heartbreaking, especially when you have the right guys on the ice.”
The Gulls six-game home winning streak tied their longest in their two seasons in the AHL.
The Gulls resume their season-long five-game season-long homestand Friday when they play host to the Stockton Heat, the Calgary Flames AHL affiliate.