American Hockey League

Gulls beat Barracuda to open AHL preseason

Jan 19, 2021

The San Diego Gulls earned a 5-1 victory over the divisional rival San Jose Barracuda in their first action of the 2020-21 preseason tonight at FivePoint Arena.

San Diego wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Just over five minutes into the action, with the Gulls already on the game’s first power play, Andrew Agozzino converted a backdoor pass from Trevor Zegras, to give San Diego an early 1-0 advantage.

“Having Zegras on the halfway, with the way he sees the ice, really you just have to get open and he’ll find you,” Sam Carrick said while explaining the team’s strong power play performance. “We saw that on the one goal where we found the seam to Agozzino and Agozzino made a great play to seam it again.”

San Jose responded quickly, evening the score at one just 1:37 later as a shot from the point by Joakim Blichfeld snuck through traffic and past Lukas Dostal.

With just over a minute remaining in the game’s opening period, San Diego retook the lead after a long shift in the offensive zone. Andrew Poturalski collected a bouncing puck along the wall just in front of the San Jose bench, curled towards the middle of the ice and fired a low shot off of his linemate, Benoit-Olivier Groulx and past Josef Korenar. Chase De Leo also collected an assist on the go-ahead goal as the Gulls took a 2-1 lead into first intermission.

Sam Carrick doubled the Gulls lead just two minutes into the second period as he capitalized on a San Jose turnover. As the Barracuda attempted to break out of their own zone, San Jose forward Vlad Kotkov was intercepted by Carrick, who one-timed the errant pass by Korenar to give the Gulls a 3-1 lead at the 2:11 mark of the middle frame.

Afforded another power-play opportunity halfway through the second period, the Gulls were quick to convert once again and extend the lead. Much like the first goal of the night, Zegras found Agozzino uncovered on the backdoor but this time the veteran winger made an extra pass to Carrick, who slammed home his second goal of the game, putting San Diego ahead 4-1 with 10:39 left in the second period.

The Gulls capped the offensive onslaught just two minutes later as Jack Kopacka raced down left wing and caught Korenar by surprise, firing a quick wrist shot just under the crossbar, extending the Gulls advantage to four.

The teams traded chances in the third period with neither side finding the back of the net and the Gulls claiming a 5-1 win.

Lukas Dostal, appearing in his first game as a member of the Gulls, made 28 saves to earn the win.

“I thought he was excellent,” head coach Kevin Dineen said. “I thought he had some great composure. “He looked very comfortable in net. That was a very strong game for him to have under his belt.”

The Gulls and Barracuda will conclude their two-game preseason series Thursday, Jan. 19 (6 p.m. PT) at FivePoint Arena in Irvine, CA.

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