Coachella Valley Find Special Teams Help in Victory Over San Diego
The Firebirds came out on top in their inaugural meeting with the Gulls, downing them 4-1 at Pechanga Arena in San Diego. Jesper Froden, Max McCormick (SH), Shane Wright (PP), and John Hayden (SH EN) all netted goals in Coachella Valley’s ninth win of the season.
The first goal of the game belonged to the Gulls on a powerplay strike from Hunter Drew at 7:53. Drew snuck a shot past Joey Daccord to draw first blood. The Firebirds found their response at the 15:58 mark of the frame when a rebound bounced to Jesper Froden after Gulls’ netminder Lukas Dostal made the initial save. The assists on Froden’s ninth goal of the season were awarded to Alexander True and Peetro Seppala.
San Diego went to the powerplay after Coachella Valley’s Eddie Wittchow was whistled for tripping. The Firebirds forced a steal in the neutral zone setting up a 2-on-1 rush led by Tye Kartye. Kartye wristed a shot off the pad of Dostal that caromed right to the stick of Max McCormick, netting the second shorthanded goal of the year for Coachella Valley at 17:49.
After a goalless second period, the Firebirds found the insurance marker they were searching for: Shane Wright wristed a powerplay tally at 13:03 to extend Coachella Valley’s lead to two goals. Wright’s goal was his fourth in three games during his AHL conditioning stint. The assists belonged to Jimmy Schuldt and Alexander True. During another Gulls powerplay later in the third, San Diego pulled Dostal for an extra attacked and John Hayden cleared the puck off the boards and into the back of the empty net to put Coachella Valley up 4-1.
Joey Daccord made 18 saves on 19 shots in the Firebirds victory, moving the team to 9-4-2-0 on the season. The team went 1-for-6 on the powerplay and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill.
Read the game’s box score HERE.
NEXT GAME: Coachella Valley heads to Henderson, Nevada on Friday, December 2nd and Saturday, December 3rd for a meeting with the Silver Knights. Puck drop for both games is scheduled for 7:00pm PT.
The Firebirds home opener will take place at Acrisure Arena, the newest world-class concert and sports venue designed specifically for the Coachella Valley, on Sunday, December 18, 2022, against the Tucson Roadrunners. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00pm PT.