Gulls defeat Ontario for sixth consecutive victory

SAN DIEGO – Kevin Boyle stopped 30 of 31 shots and four teammates each had a goal and an assist as the San Diego Gulls extended their season-high winning streak to six games with a 4-1 victory over the Ontario Reign Sunday in Ontario.

The Gulls (17-11-1-3) never trailed with Sam Steel opening the scoring with 33 seconds left in the first period.

Troy Terry made the goal possible, stealing the puck from Reign center Kyle Bauman between the faceoff circles in the Ontario zone, driving toward the net, drawing Reign goaltender Peter Budaj toward him, then passing to Steel in front of the net, who scored his seven goal of the season.

The Gulls increased their lead to 2-0 24 seconds into the second period when Max Jones put a slap shot past Budaj for his 11th goal of the season. Sam Carrick and Matt Berry were credited with the assists.

Ontario (10-16-3-2) scored what would prove to be its only goal with 4:36 left in the second period on Mike Amadio put in a rebound of Matt Moulson’s shot for  a power-play goal, his first goal in his six games with the Reign, the Los Angeles Kings American Hockey League affiliate.

Carrick increased the Gulls lead to 3-1 3:33 into the third period, when he put in a rebound of Jones’ shot for his 18th goal of the season, the most among Pacific Division players.

Terry concluded the scoring with a power-play goal with 6:21 to play. He leads AHL rookies with 35 points and 20 assists.

“It seems like things are going our way and we’re doing all the right things,” Steel said. “I don’t think it’s by accident. We’ve put a lot of work in to get to this point and we’re playing some good hockey.”

The Gulls led in shots, 43-31, including a 16-2 advantage in the third period. The Gulls killed two of Ontario’s three power-play opportunities and scored on one of their five.

Budaj (3-8-1-1) made 39 saves in his fourth consecutive loss.

Boyle (13-5-0-0) won his eighth consecutive game, the longest streak by a Gulls goaltender in their four seasons in the AHL.

The win extended the Gulls streak with at least one standings point to 11 games, the second longest in the team’s four seasons in the AHL.

AHL teams receive two standings points for any type of victory and one point for a loss in overtime or a shootout.

The victory was Dallas Eakins 135th as Gulls coach, tying Kevin Dineen for the most wins by a coach of an Anaheim Ducks primary affiliate. Dineen guided the Portland Pirates to a 135-76-13-16 record from 2005-08.

Center Ben Street was scoreless in his debut with the Gulls. The 31- year-old was among three players reassigned to the Gulls Sunday by the Ducks, along with defensemen Jake Dotchin and Korbinian Holzer, who were both also scoreless.

Ontario lost its fifth consecutive game.

The Gulls will resume their four-game road trip Wednesday at Stockton.

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