SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The San Diego Gulls snapped their five-game winless streak on Friday night, but it took an extra session and a great individual effort by Josh Mahura to do it. Mahura scored on a breakaway 46 seconds into overtime as the Gulls came back from a two-goal deficit to down the Iowa Wild, 4-3. Sam Carrick scored two goals for the Gulls. Sam Anas and Gerald Mayhew remained red hot, as each scored a goal and added an assist.
The Wild took the lead thanks to a play that is becoming all too common. While on the power play, Anas had the puck along the right boards in the San Diego end. He passed it to Kyle Rau, who was at the goal line near the Gulls net. He quickly passed it toward the slot for Mayhew, but Rau did not get all of it. Mayhew quickly sped in, wristing the loose puck in for his AHL-leading 24th goal of the year. That extended Mayhew’s point streak to 10 straight games and Anas’ to seven.
The Mayhew tally came at 9:38. Exactly seven minutes later, Iowa was right back on the board. Brandon Duhaime passed the puck to Dmitry Sokolov after entering the Gulls zone. Sokolov made an absolutely beautiful pass from the blueline across the slot to Connor Dewar, who was crashing the backside of the net. He made a perfect redirection for his fifth goal of the year to make it 2-0. That would be the score heading to the first intermission, despite the fact the San Diego had outshot Iowa 10-7.
The Gulls were in danger of being blown out of their own stadium, but a pair of plays quickly turned this into a one-goal game. At the three-minute mark, Anas took a feed from Mayhew in the slot, firing a rising wrist shot that Anthony Stolarz made a great glove save on.
About a minute later, San Diego was attacking in the Wild end. Antoine Morand’s shot was saved, but Carrick picked up the rebound, firing a wrist shot by Mat Robson for his 14th goal of the year.
About six minutes later, the Gulls tied the score. While on a 5-on-3 power play, the puck was sent back to Mahura at the point. He fired a wrist shot that Chris Mueller deflected just under the cross bar for his 12th goal of the year.
Two minutes later, the Gulls looked like they would take the lead. Troy Terry’s shot was knocked down in front of the net, and the puck was loose in the crease. However, Robson pounced on it before San Diego could get a shot on net.
The Gulls came out of the second intermission fired up, taking the lead 17 seconds into the frame. Mahura made a great pass out of his end to Carrick, who took the feed just before he entered the Wild zone. That sent him in on a breakaway. Carrick moved slightly to his left before coming back to the right, tucking the puck between the legs of Robson for his second goal of the game.
A little over four minutes later, J.T. Brown had a great chance to tie the score. He moved around a San Diego defender, holding him off to create a partial breakaway, but Stolarz denied the chance. The puck then came back to the point where Josh Atkinson fired a wrist shot, but once again, the Gulls netminder came up big, making the glove save to force a stoppage.
Stolarz had kept his team on top, but the combination of Anas and Mayhew tied the score. At 5:28, Nico Sturm fed the puck to Mayhew along the end boards. He made a great pass to Anas in the slot, who fired a laser wrist shot over the shoulder of the Gulls netminder for his 12th goal of the year and third in the last two games.
Right before the nine-minute mark, Kiefer Sherwood nearly gave his team a two-goal lead. The pass came right to Sherwood in front of the net, who fired a shot that Robson stopped, but the rebound came right back to Sherwood. Robson was down and had no business getting into position to make a save, but he was somehow able to get in front of the puck to deny Sherwood’s rebound attempt.
The score remained tied through regulation, sending the contest to overtime. That is where Mahura delivered the game-winner. After Stolarz stopped a Wild shot, Terry picked up the rebound, passing it to Mahura who was speeding through the neutral zone. That sent him on a breakaway. Mahura moved in, then fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Robson for his second goal of the season.
The game-winning goal gave Mahura three points on the night. Terry added two assists.
The two points for Anas gives him 41, tied for second most in the AHL. With two points on the evening as well, Mayhew now has 39 points, ranked fourth.
The Iowa Wild travel up I-5 to take on the Bakersfield Condors on Saturday night. The puck drops at 9:00 CT.
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