IRVINE, CA. – The San Diego Gulls netted three goals in the first 5:03 of the contest and never looked back, as the Gulls defeated the Eagles by a final score of 7-3 on Saturday. Forward Andrew Poturalski led the way for San Diego with a goal and three assists, while fellow forwards Trevor Zegras and Vinni Lettieri each netted a pair of goals. Colorado forwards Kiefer Sherwood and Riley Woods each posted a goal and an assist in the loss, while forward T.J. Tynan collected a pair of assists.
The Gulls would grab an early 1-0 advantage when an Eagles turnover at the San Diego blueline sent Lettierri on a breakaway, which he would cap off with goal just 28 seconds into the contest.
Just over three minutes later, defenseman Kodie Curran would grab a pass in the low slot and hammer a shot past Colorado goaltender Trent Miner to stretch the Gulls lead to 2-0 at the 3:36 mark of the first period.
The scoring would continue for San Diego when Zegras flicked a bouncing puck at the side of the crease out of midair and into the back of the net to make it 3-0 in favor of the Gulls with just 5:03 gone in the opening 20 minutes of action.
The Eagles would finally strike back on a 5-on-3 power play when Tynan fed a cross-slot pass onto the tape of forward Shane Bowers who would one-time the puck past San Diego netminder Anthony Stolarz. The tally was Bowers second goal of the season and trimmed the deficit to 3-1 with 5:01 remaining in the first period.
San Diego wasn’t finished adding to the scoresheet, as Poturalski would collect a rebound at the top of the crease and powered the puck past Miner to put the Gulls on top, 4-1 at the 18:55 mark of the opening stanza.
Moving into the second period, the hole would grow bigger for Colorado when Lettieri fielded a pass on the rush and deflected the puck into the back of the net to make it 5-1 in favor San Diego at the 4:03 mark of the middle frame.
Zegras would find his second goal of the game shortly thereafter, as he swooped to the top of the crease and tapped a back-door feed past Miner to stretch the Gulls advantage to 6-1 with 5:47 left to play in the period.
The Eagles would finally put the brakes on three-straight San Diego goals when Sherwood forced a turnover at the Colorado blueline, sending him on a breakaway that he would finish with a wrister that lit the lamp with just 20 seconds to play in the second stanza. The goal was Sherwood’s second in as many games and sent the two teams to the second intermission with San Diego on top, 6-2.
The Gulls would strike back early in the third period on a wrister from the blue line from defenseman Jamie Drysdale that would beat goaltender Parker Gahagen who came in to start the final 20 minutes in relief of Miner. The tally would expand San Diego’s lead to 7-2 at the 5:28 mark of the period.
Colorado would make one last mark on the contest when some nice transition on the rush set up Woods to feed the puck past Stolarz and cut the Gulls advantage to 7-3 with 11:42 left to play in the game.
The Eagles were outshot 40-36 in the game, as Colorado went 1-for-5 on the power play and a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. Miner suffered the loss in net, allowing six goals on 27 shots, while Gahagen turned aside 12 of the 13 shots he faced in relief.
Colorado will return to action when the Eagles host the Tucson Roadrunners on Wednesday, February 24th at 7:05pm MT. Fans can catch every game this season live on “The Home of the Colorado Eagles,” 92.9 The Bear or on AHLTV.