The Gulls skated past the Texas Stars for a 3-1 victory in the first game of their best-of-5 playoff series.
Antoine Laganiere opened the scoring with a goal with 4:30 left in the first period.
After the Stars got on the board early in the second, Nick Ritchie lit the lamp to break the 1-1 tie and swing momentum back to the Gulls bench.
Then Chris Mueller added an insurance goal to give the Gulls a little bit more breathing room and lock down a 1-0 series lead.
San Diego plays game 2 in Austin, Texas Saturday evening before returning home to America’s Finest City.
Game 3 will be Thursday at the Valley View Casino Center and if necessary, the Gulls will host game 4 (Friday April 29th) and game 5 (Monday May 2nd) as well.
The Gulls qualified for the Calder Cup playoffs in their first season in the American Hockey league.
San Diego is one of five expansion AHL franchises competing in California this season after the relocation of many minor league hockey teams this past fall.