The Seals battled back from a four-goal deficit but collapsed in the final moments.
San Diego was completely swamped out of the gate, battled back for a fourth-quarter lead, but gave up two goals in the last minute and a half, extending their losing streak to four with an 11-10 loss.
Everything that could go wrong went wrong for the Seals early. Drew Belgrave scooped up a loose ball and had a one-on-one with Panther City goalkeeper Nick Damude. Belgrave missed the net entirely, keeping the game scoreless. Seals superstar Austin Staats picked up a penalty for holding. Panther City took advantage of the resulting power play, quickly jumping into the lead. Staats atoned for his penalty with a goal to level the game at one. However, Panther City scored three times in the next three minutes, eventually leading to Seals coach Patrick Merrill to lift goalie Frank Scigliano from the game.
It didn’t look like a successful move, as backup goalkeeper Chris Origlieri surrendered a goal on the first shot he faced, just under a minute into the second period. Brett Hickey pulled one back for the Seals, beginning the slow process of chipping away. Jeremy Noble scored from long-range, bringing the Seals within two. Panther City’s Dylan Hutchinson quickly responded, scoring on a counterattack.
Just ten seconds later, Dane Dobbie scored for the Seals in incredible fashion.
JAWS ARE ON THE FLOOR pic.twitter.com/74Njno0C8g
— San Diego Seals – x (@SealsLax) April 16, 2022
The video speaks for itself, as Dobbie takes the feed from Cam Holding, bringing the Seals back within two.
Brent Hickey added his second of the night before the Seals found themselves on the power play. Casey Jackson scored on the power play to level the game before scoring again to take the lead. Just like that, the Seals had scored six times in just over six minutes and led, despite trailing by four in the quarter.
Hickey finished off his hat trick on an impressive counterattack, and the Seals looked like they were in control, having scored seven of the last eight goals, and had all the momentum in the world. The game stayed at a two-goal gap going into the fourth quarter, as the two teams traded goals.
However, Panther City took advantage of a power play, and as Dean Fairall scored on a bounce shot, they had managed to tie the game at nine with six minutes to go. With the game tied, Austin Staats leapt into the air, taking the lead with a high-flying goal. Panther City found themselves on the power play after Graydon Bradley was called for checking in the back. They then struck to tie the game as Phil Caputo found a way past Scigliano. With under 30 seconds remaining, Caputo struck again, and the Seals couldn’t score in the final moments.
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The Seals will now need multiple losses from division leaders Colorado to win the division. They‘ll return home for their first playoff game, which will happen either May 7 or May 8.
Sam is a Senior in High School. He has been writing for three years, and started at EVT in June of 2021. He’s headed to Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Communications in the fall of 2023.