On Friday night the Gulls let a 2-0 lead get away in a 4-3 overtime loss in Grand Rapids. San Diego got another shot at the Griffins on Saturday night and this time they didn't let the advantage out of their hands.
The Gulls scored a pair of 3rd period goals, one of them almost on accident, in a 3-1 win to split the weekend set in Michigan and take three of four possible standings points.
After a scoreless 1st period the Gulls got an unlikely tally from Ryan Johnston, who scored the first goal of his San Diego career and just the 6th he's ever scored in 98 American Hockey League games. Grand Rapids tied it with a power play goal but other than that they couldn't solve Stoli the Goalie.
Anthony Stolarz (who will be in Ontario on Monday with defenseman Chris Wideman as All-Stars) stopped 38 of the 39 shots he faced in a fantastic performance.
In the 3rd period Grand Rapids native Brent Gates, Jr. redirected a pass from Max Comtois for his 4th goal of the year and a 2-1 San Diego lead that stuck until the final minute of the game.
The Griffins pulled their goalie for a 6th attacker. Gulls captain Sam Carrick, just trying to clear the puck from in front of the net, lifted a backhand down the ice. Nobody in a Grand Rapids uniform could stop it. The puck slid 180 feet into the empty net to put the game on ice.
The Gulls hit the AHL All-Star break in 4th place in the Pacific Division. If they can stay there (at least) in the season's second half they'll be back in the Calder Cup playoffs. They return to the ice on Friday, January 31 at home against San Jose.