Gulls Goalie Stands Tall But Takes Loss

Leland Irving had a historic night in a 1-0 setback

Sometimes a hockey team has everything working well and it wins big. Sometimes it has nothing working well and it gets whipped. But sometimes a hockey team has half the things working well while the other half struggles and those are the nights that are really frustrating.

The San Diego Gulls experienced one of those nights on Friday at home against the Ontario Reign. Goaltender Leland Irving tied a franchise record with 41 saves but the San Diego offense could not help him out in a 1-0 loss in front of 10,591 fans at Valley View Casino Center.

The only goal Irving allowed came in the first period when Ontario had a 5-on-3 advantage. Philippe Maillet was left uncovered behind Irving and scored on a shot very few goalies on earth could have stopped. After that Irving pitched the shutout while his skaters could get nothing going, and that did not make Gulls Head Coach Dallas Eakins very happy.

“I wish tonight we could have taken a big old syringe and pulled out of the fight and battle in his game and inject it in nine or 10 other guys,” said Eakins. “That’s what he had; he was committed to fighting and battling for his teammates and the rest let us down.”

The Gulls fall to 4-4-1 on the year and get another shot at the Reign on Saturday night up in Ontario.

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