Gulls win in shootout against Ontario

Posted at 12:21 PM, Dec 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-20 15:57:55-05

Nick Ritchie scored both of the San Diego Gulls' goals in regulation and made a penalty shot to open the shootout in a 3-2 victory over the Ontario Reign Saturday at Ontario.

The Reign, the Los Angeles Kings American Hockey League affiliate, tied the score with 26 seconds left in regulation.

Ontario coach Mike Stothers had pulled goaltender Peter Budaj for a sixth attacker, when center Kris Newbury picked up a loose puck behind the San Diego end line and deflected the puck off Gulls goaltender Anton Khudobin's blocker for his fifth goal of the season.

There was no scoring during the five-minute overtime, which is played with three skaters on each team, two fewer than normal.

Following Ritchie's shootout goal, each of the next three shooters failed to score -- Ontario right wing Sean Backman, Gulls right wing Stefan Noesen and Reign center Kris Newbury.

Gulls center Mike Sgarbossa ended the shootout with a goal, giving the Gulls (14-10-0-1) their third consecutive victory.

The 20-year-old Ritchie -- the Gulls' youngest player -- opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 11:22 of the first period. The Gulls are 11-0-0-1 when scoring first, 8-0-0-1 when Ritchie scores a goal and 12-4-0-1 when scoring on the power play.

Reign right wing Justin Auger tied the score with an unassisted goal at 16:28 of the first period.

Ritchie scored on a rebound of his own shot at 4:11 of the second period to give the Gulls a 2-1 lead.

Khudobin stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced for his second victory in two nights.

The 29-year-old Khudobin was assigned to the Gulls by their NHL parent team, the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

The Kazakhstan native has played 99 NHL games with four teams over seven seasons, including eight with the Ducks this season.

Budaj stopped 21 of the 23 shots he faced for Ontario (15-4-2-1), which leads the Pacific Division.

The Gulls killed all six of the Reign's power-play attempts and scored on one of their six.

The Gulls will resume play next Saturday, playing host to Ontario at Valley View Casino Center. The Gulls have a three-game winning streak over the Reign.