The San Diego Gulls brought the heat to the ice as they beat the Ontario Reign 4 - 1 in a decisive game five at the Valley View Casino to advance to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, and they did so with an history making first period, as they found the back of net three times in under 3 minutes.
With that the Gulls set a postseason record for the three earliest goals scored in a playoff game.
The scoring started for the Gulls on a power play at the 9:03 mark, Andy Welinski powered one toward the goal, which was then deflected off the stick of Nic Kerdiles, who was credited with the shot, to give the San Diego a 1-0 lead.
“It was weird, it just kind of came at me quick,” Kerdiles said. “I just ducked down and threw my stick there and it went right off of it. It was a great job by the defense. We talked about getting shots to the net, so whenever that happens we have a good shot of putting it in.”
The Gulls continued to put shots in, a short 58 seconds later, the Gulls were at it again as Max Gortz found an open Keaton Thompson, Thompson sent the puck past Ontario’s goaltender Jack Flinn for goal number two of the game. This also marked Thompson’s second-career playoff goal.
Goal three came off the shot of Kerdiles but was then deflected by Kevin Roy to find its way past Ontario’s Flinn. San Diego extended their lead to 3-0 and with the assist on the shot Kerdiles managed to rack up 3 points in the first period, becoming the first Gulls player to put up that many points in an individual playoff period.
The momentum offensively began to die down for the Gulls as they went into the second frame. The Reign outshot San Diego 16-6. But Gulls Goaltender Jhonas Enronth was not letting anything get by, stopping all 16 Ontario shots in the second period. Overall Enroth capped off the night with 37 saves just one shy of his postseason high of 38. Enroth’s performance was highly noted by his fellow teammates.
“Enroth, first off was superb for us,” Kerdiles said. “We count on him and he came up big for us again.”
Ontario found a way to get past Enroth in the third period when Brett Sutter powered one in for his first goal of the postseason. But that would be the extent of the Reign’s scoring. San Diego capped of the win in the third period when Jordan Samuels-Thomas nailed one in for the Gulls off the assist of Sam Carrick for the final goal of the game.
With the victory over Ontario, the Gulls advance in the Calder Cup Playoffs and will take on San Jose Friday for the first game of the best of seven series.