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Gulls Advance to AHL Conference Finals with Series Victory Over Condors

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

With a 6-2 victory over the Bakersfield Condors in Game 6, the San Diego Gulls have advanced to the Western Conference Final for the first time in club history. The Gulls will face the Chicago Wolves (Vegas Golden Knights) in a best-of-seven series beginning this Friday (May 17) at Allstate Arena (5 p.m. PT).

San Diego currently leads the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs in goals (42) and goals-per game (4.20).

This marks the third occasion a primary affiliate of the Ducks has reached the Third Round (Portland in 2006 and 2008).

San Diego has won the most playoff series among Pacific Division clubs since its inception in 2015 (4), surpassing the three by Texas (all in 2018). San Diego now co-leads the Pacific Division with 15 all-time playoff wins (also Texas). With a 7-3 record this postseason, the Gulls have won the most playoff games in a single postseason in club history.

Player Notes
Selected by Anaheim in the second round (50th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, Max Comtois has opened his Calder Cup Playoff career with points in five of his first six games (3-3=6). Comtois sparked the streak by scoring the game-winning goal in Games 1 and 2 victories at Bakersfield, and earned 1-1=2 points in Monday's series-clinching victory over Bakersfield in Game 6 of the Pacific Division Finals. Despite playing only six games, Comtois ranks third in Calder Cup Playoff rookie scoring (3-3=6) and plus/minus (+6), and tied for fifth in rookie goals.

Sam Steel, Anaheim's first-round selection (30th overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft, co-leads rookie playoff participants in points (4-6=10), ranks second in plus/minus (+7), tied for second in goals, and tied for ninth in assists. Steel will enter the Conference Finals with the most points by a rookie in Gulls playoff history.

Kiefer Sherwood is currently tied with Steel for second among rookies in playoff goals (4) and tied for seventh in playoff scoring (4-2=6). Sherwood signed as a free agent Mar. 19, 2018. Meanwhile, Kalle Kossila, who signed as a free agent (May 30, 2016), scored two goals in Monday's series clincher to give him three goals in the second round (3-3=6).

Selected 27th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, Jacob Larsson leads AHL defensemen in plus/minus (+10), ranks tied for seventh in postseason assists (4), and ninth in points (1-4=5). Andy Welinski, selected in the third round (83rd overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft, is tied for second among AHL playoff defensemen in scoring (2-5=7) and tied for fourth in assists.

Adam Cracknell (6-6=12) and Sam Carrick (5-7=12) rank tied for third in points among AHL playoff leaders. Cracknell, who also has points in seven of his last eight games, is currently ranked tied for second in the Calder Cup Playoffs in goals, sixth in points per game (1.33) and tied for ninth in assists. Cracknell, acquired from Toronto in exchange for Steven Oleksy Dec. 10, 2018, set a Gulls postseason record for goals in a single postseason (6) May 10, surpassing the five scored by Nick Ritchie in 2016. Carrick, acquired from Chicago with Spencer Abbott in exchange for Kenton Helgesen and a seventh-round selection in the 2019 NHL Draft Mar. 1, 2017, is also tied for sixth among AHL playoff leaders in goals and tied for fifth in assists. Carrick is the Gulls all-time postseason leader in points (9-10=19).

Series Recap
Game 1 - Fri., May 3
San Diego 3, BAKERSFIELD 2 (4OT) | Recap | Highlights

Game 2 - Sat., May 4
San Diego 4, BAKERSFIELD 1 | Recap | Highlights

Game 3 - Wed., May 8
Bakersfield 7, SAN DIEGO 6 (OT) | Recap | Highlights

Game 4 - Fri., May 10
SAN DIEGO 4, Bakersfield 2 | Recap | Highlights

Game 5 - Sat., May 11
BAKERSFIELD 2, San Diego 1 (2OT) | Recap | Highlights

Game 6 - Mon., May 13
Bakersfield 2, SAN DIEGO 6 | Boxscore

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