It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve taken a look at what was going on in the rest of the Pacific Division. Most of the teams took these past two weeks to take road trips both long distance and throughout California.
We’ll start our recap in San Diego.
The Gulls started the holiday weekend at home after completing their road trip up to Grand Rapids and Milwaukee. A five-game skid became six as the Texas Stars rolled into San Diego and quickly went up 4-0. The Gulls fought back to make it 4-3, but were unable go any further and Travis Morin sealed the deal for the Stars eight minutes into the third. The Reign arrived next, riding a three-game win streak that included a sweep through Texas. The Gulls went up 2-0 before the Reign could score their own and they never looked back. Michael Mersch was able to keep the Reign close, but the Gulls snapped their losing streak with a 3-2 win. They built on that win with another in Ontario the next night.
That’s as far as their win streak would go, however, as they took five days off then headed up the coast. First they ran into a warm (trying to be hot) Condors team. They fought back from a 5-1 deficit to make it 5-3, but an empty net goal put the game away. A late goal by Cramarossa with 25 seconds left to play made the final score 6-4. Further up the coast, they met up with the struggling Heat in Stockton. After trading goals, Stockton took the lead for good on a power play goal with 4 minutes left. Another empty net goal set the final score at 4-2.
Bakersfield started their week also just returning from the Grand Rapids-Milwaukee swing and having gone 5-2-0 in their last seven. The Stars dropped by on their way to San Diego and posted yet another win against the California teams. The Condors then went north to Stockton where they picked up a 6-5 win over the Heat. The Heat followed them back to Bakersfield where they picked up their own 3-2 win.
They welcomed San Diego in five days later with the 6-4 win noted above, then went up to San Jose for a wild 7-6 win over the Barracuda. The Condors finished the week where they started, still a .500 team.
Stockton journeyed to Ontario to kick off their holiday weekend, losing a tight 2-1 defensive affair to the Reign. After returning home, they split a home and home series with the Condors. The next stop was a quick jaunt west to lose to the Barracuda 5-3 before returning home to defeat the Gulls 4-2. The end result of the bouncing back and forth? Last in the Pacific.
San Jose has been the unpredictable team in the division. Rolling up and down through the season, they have yet to find a rhythm. This week was no different. Their journey took them east to Charlotte where they split the two games, each team winning 3-1. Back home, the Stars arrived after taking down the Condors and the Gulls. The Barracuda rode a 4 goal second period to a 4-3 win over the Stars. The next night, however, the Stars held them to two goals (also in the second period), winning the game 3-2. Stockton came through next and Barracuda were able to piece together another win.
The Texas Stars returned from their California road trip with 3 wins in four games. Waiting for them in Cedar Park, however, were the Rockford Ice Hogs. The Stars lost another high scoring affair 5-6 and were unable to make up any ground on the San Antonio Rampage.
The San Antonio Rampage went on their Central Division road trip for the holiday, heading first to Milwaukee then to Rockford and losing both games. They finished their road trip with two wins against the Chicago Wolves, knocking them out of first place in the Central. They returned home to welcome the Ice Hogs to San Antonio. Rockford responded by winning both games & taking over first in the Central.
The results of the two weeks? The Reign are still atop the Pacific Division and the Western Conference, but have lost a little ground against the Eastern Conference. The Gulls lost a couple of places, allowing the Stars to reclaim third. The Heat have sunk to the bottom of the division, but not the conference.