The Gulls made a statement with their offense, their defense, and their fists Wednesday night.
San Diego notched a 5-1 victory over the first-place San Jose Barracuda thanks in part to a couple of goals by Shea Theodore and some stellar goaltending by Dustin Tokarski.
Tokarski stopped 37 of 38 shots and the Gulls took a 3-0 lead into the third period before Kyle MacKinnon tallied an insurance goal and Kalle Kossila added an empty netter.
Tempers flared in the final two minutes and four fights broke out simultaneously during one stoppage.
After the puck dropped to resume play, both teams started going at it again, with Stu Bickel providing an exclamation point by motioning to the San Jose bench after getting the best of his dance partner.
The two teams combined for 119 penalty minutes and a number of ejections from both sides before the final horn sounded.
One can only hope we see these two franchises in an AHL playoff series.
In ten regular season meetings, the Barracuda won all five games in San Jose, while the Gulls won all five games played in front of their home fans.
The Gulls have been downright dominant at the Valley View Casino Center this year in general and Wednesday’s dominant performance marked a franchise-record seventh straight win for San Diego on home ice.
The win moved the Gulls to the doorstep of the AHL playoffs.
San Diego needs just one more point to clinch a playoff berth for the second straight season.
The Gulls can also reserve that spot in the postseason if Stockton loses on Friday.
San Diego travels to Bakersfield for a Friday night affair against the Condors.
The Gulls will then host Bakersfield Saturday evening back at the Valley View Casino Center at 7 p.m.