SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Gulls will open the American Hockey League's Western Conference finals Friday night in Rosemont, Illinois, against the Chicago Wolves.
The Gulls advanced to the conference finals for the first time in their four seasons in the AHL with a 6-2 victory over the Bakersfield Condors Monday night to win the Pacific Division finals, four games to two.
"We're excited, really proud of what these guys have been able to accomplish so far," said Dallas Eakins, who has coached the Gulls in all four of their seasons in the AHL. "We sat down early in the season and the staff did not give them goals, they had their own goals. They've accomplished another one of those here tonight."
The Gulls never trailed Monday, with Kalle Kossila breaking a 1-1 tie with a goal 10 minutes into the first period. The Gulls increased their lead to 3-1 on Kossila's power-play goal at 17:33 of the first period before a crowd at Pechanga Arena San Diego announced at 5,217.
Bakersfield, the Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate, cut the deficit to 3-2 on Evan Bouchard's goal 4:29 into the second period. Maxime Comtois and Sam Carrick scored later in the second period for the Gulls, the Anaheim Ducks AHL affiliate.
Gulls goaltender Jeff Glass made 20 saves for his third victory in five decisions in the series.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven Western Conference finals will be played Saturday, also at Allstate Arena. The series will shift to San Diego May 22. Game 4 will be played May 24 and Game 5, if necessary May 25, also at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
Game 6, if necessary, would be played May 27 at Allstate Arena, with Game 7 to be played May 29, also at Allstate Arena.
Tickets for the games at Pechanga Arena San Diego will go on sale at 10 a.m. online at SanDiegoGulls.com/playoffs, by calling 844-GO GULLS or at the arena box office.
The Gulls did not face Wolves during the regular season. Chicago, the Vegas Golden Knights AHL affiliate, won the Central Division with a 44-22-6-4 record. The Gulls were third in the Pacific Division with a 36-24-5-3 record.