American Hockey League

Gulls head to conference finals for first time

Kalle Kossila scored twice in the first period and San Diego pulled away for a 6-2 victory over Bakersfield on Monday night, eliminating the Pacific Division champions from the Calder Cup Playoffs.

San Diego wins the series, four games to two, and will next face Chicago for Western Conference championship beginning Friday night in Rosemont, Ill.

It will be the Gulls’ first-ever trip to the conference finals, and the first appearance by an Anaheim Ducks affiliate in the AHL’s final four since the Portland Pirates made it in 2008.

Chase De Leo, who scored four goals in San Diego’s first-round series against San Jose, netted his first goal of the second round just 46 seconds into Game 6, squeezing a shot through the pads of Stuart Skinner.

Brad Malone backhanded home the rebound of an Evan Bouchard shot at 5:14, tying the game at 1-1 with a power-play goal.

Kossila stepped off the right-wing wall and ripped a shot past Skinner at 10:00 of the opening frame, then roofed a shot short-side at 17:33 to make it 3-1 and send Skinner to the Condors bench in favor of Shane Starrett.

Bakersfield closed to within 3-2 on Bouchard’s long wrister from the center point at 4:29 of the second period, but Maxime Comtois picked up his third goal of the series at 9:35 and then assisted on Sam Carrick‘s goal at 13:41 as the Gulls took a 5-2 lead into the second intermission.

Ben Street finished the scoring with 1:59 left in regulation.

Jeff Glass (6-3) turned aside 20 shots in the victory for San Diego.

Starrett stopped 18 of 21 shots in relief of Skinner (2-1).

Pacific Division Finals – Series “L” (best-of-7)
P1-Bakersfield Condors vs. P3-San Diego Gulls
Game 1 – Fri., May 3 – San Diego 3, BAKERSFIELD 2 (4OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sat., May 4 – San Diego 4, BAKERSFIELD 1 | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Wed., May 8 – Bakersfield 7, SAN DIEGO 6 (OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 4 – Fri., May 10 – SAN DIEGO 4, Bakersfield 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 5 – Sat., May 11 – BAKERSFIELD 2, San Diego 1 (2OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 6 – Mon., May 13 – SAN DIEGO 6, Bakersfield 2

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