San Diego Gulls use three-goal period to top Condors

San Diego Gulls Chase De Leo

Credit: San Diego Gulls

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San Diego Gulls

The San Diego Gulls used a big second period to propel themselves past Bakersfield and notching their first win of the 2021 season.

Officially kicking off their 2021 season, the San Diego Gulls found themselves down 1-0 to the Bakersfield Condors just 4:56 into the opening period. Condors’ defenseman Theodor Lennstrom navigated his way through traffic, firing a shot past Gulls’ netminder Lukas Dostal.

Bakersfield held a one-goal leading heading into the first intermission before San Diego’s offense went to work. Just over five minutes into the second period, forward Chase De Leo fired a shot on net, slipping past Bakersfield goalie Olivier Rodrigue before De Leo, who followed up on his shot, was met by Trevor Zegras at the net, and the puck was buried home to even the score at one. De Leo was initially credited with the goal, but it was later was overturned, giving Trevor Zegras his first professional goal.

Despite the logistics of sorting out who owned the first goal, the Gulls stayed on the attack, with De Leo receiving a pass in the slot with a quick, turnaround shot that went wide. Zegras collected the puck, firing it toward the net and bouncing off Rodrigue for an easy tap-in for De Leo.

Just over three minutes later, the period was capped off when Kodie Curran netted his first career goal with the Gulls. The 31-year-old signed a two-year, two-way deal with the Ducks in June after spending most of his professional career split between the SHL, ECHL, and AHL.

Leading 3-1 entering the final period, Matt Lorito collected a puck at mid-ice, leading a 2-on-1 effort with 2020 first-round pick Jacob Perreault. A couple of nifty passes between the two led to Lorito’s first career point with the Gulls.

A couple of big professional debuts — Trevor Zegras logged three points and a +2 rating in his AHL debut while Dostal stopped 29-of-30 shots on net.

“There are little details to the game and we’re going to make that’s not only something we want out of them, that’s part of our identity,” said head coach Kevin Dineen. “I go back to my veteran group. I know I’ve got some real quality guys on the blue line who have been around and some forwards that have had different experiences. Those are good things for the kids and [tonight] was a good experience for them. The pace was higher and the quality of play was higher. I think when you’re around that, your game rises to that level.”

The Gulls look to go for the two-game series sweep on Saturday night, with puck drop set for 5 PM PT.

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