The stage was set Monday for the Gulls to snap their 5-game losing streak with the Tucson Roadrunners in town.
Even Santa was in the house – enjoying a ride on the Zamboni – one day after Christmas.
San Diego defenseman Brandon Montour assisted on the Gulls first three goals and then in the 3rd period, he lit the lamp himself to give San Diego a 4-3 lead.
But the roughly 7,500 fans were in for a surprise ending when former Gulls center Chris Mueller spoiled the party.
Mueller found the back of the net twice and added an assist to lead the Roadrunners. His second goal forced overtime when he knotted the game 4-4 with under two minutes left in regulation.
Neither side could find a difference-maker in the extra period, so the game went to a shootout.
After each goalie stopped three shot attempts, Mueller tricked Gulls goalie Dustin Tokarski and ended the affair with the game-winner.
"You want to play well every game but it’s a good feeling coming to San Diego,” said Mueller.
“I loved it here and was always welcome here. I have a lot of friends still on that team and in the San Diego area,” added Mueller with a smile, “but it is good to get a couple goals and get a win (against them) for sure.”
Mueller’s heroics sent the Gulls to their 6th straight defeat.
San Diego will try to get back on track Tuesday night at home against Ontario. The puck drops at 7 p.m.