The last time the Gulls played an American Hockey League game they beat Tucson 4-2. That was March 11, 2020, a wild 311 days ago. Chase De Leo scored the final goal that night.
He got sick of waiting to score another one.
De Leo found the net twice in a 4-1 win over Bakersfield in the first outing of San Diego’s abbreviated 44-game season.
The Gulls got off to a slow start, trailing 1-0 after the first period. In the middle frame, De Leo started to take over. He stole the puck in front of the Condors net and got off a quick shot. Bakersfield goalie Olivier Rodrigue didn’t realize the puck had trickled behind him and De Leo, never giving up on the play, slammed it home for San Diego’s first goal of the year.
He got another one six minutes later, corralling another loose puck in front of the net and putting it into the back of the net to give the Gulls their first lead of 2021. After that Chase shared.
Less than four minutes later De Leo helped set up defenseman Kodie Curran for the first goal of his San Diego career to put the Gulls on top 3-1. Rookie center Trevor Zegras assisted on that goal and one of De Leo’s tallies to get a multi-point night in his AHL debut.
The Gulls got their 4th goal in the 3rd period when another rookie made his presence felt. Jacob Perreault made a gorgeous pass to Matt Lorito for a goal, the first assist and point of Perreault’s career. Both he and Zegras were 1st round picks by the Anaheim Ducks and both are still teenagers.
While the offense should be prolific the Gulls are pretty good in net, too. 20-year-old Lukas Dostal made 29 saves in his first taste of AHL competition.
These same teams play again on Saturday night in at FivePoints Arena at Great Park Ice in Irvine.