Five Different Goal Scorers Help Coachella Valley to Second Straight Win
The Coachella Valley Firebirds defeated the San Diego Gulls by the score 5-2 on Friday night at Pechanga Arena. Cameron Hughes became the third Firebirds’ player to record four points in a game (one goal, three assists) and Christopher Gibson made 26 saves en route to Coachella Valley’s 33rd victory of the season.
Gulls forward Rocco Grimaldi had a goal waved off just :45 into the game following goaltender interference but got his revenge by converting on a turnover. Grimaldi’s 26th of the season broke open the scoring and gave San Diego a 1-0 lead.
The Firebirds needed just 1:22 to respond as John Hayden snuck a shot past Gage Alexander to tie the game. Hayden’s 15th of the year was assisted by Hughes and Kartye. Coachella Valley took their first lead of the game at 14:59 of the period on a nifty passing play that saw Austin Poganski feed Cameron Hughes for his seventh of the season. Brogan Rafferty earned the secondary assist on the go-ahead goal.
Coachella Valley extended their lead to 3-1 early in the second period on a wicked wrist shot by Tye Kartye. Rafferty and Hughes teamed up to give the puck to Kartye at the top of the right circle just 1:21 into the middle frame. Jimmy Schuldt notched his sixth of the season on the powerplay to make it 4-1 Firebirds at 7:14. Hughes and Jeremy McKenna (first point as a Firebird) were on the helpers. Austin Poganski added an unassisted goal, his seventh of the season at 12:17 to expand the advantage to 5-1 for Coachella Valley.
In the third period, the Firebirds were awarded a penalty shot, the first in team history. Max McCormick was tripped on a breakaway, leading him to a one-on-one battle with Olle Eriksson Ek (who replaced Gage Alexander in the San Diego cage after the fourth Firebirds goal). McCormick was stopped by Eriksson Ek on the penalty shot to keep the game at 5-1.
The Gulls netted a goal to make it 5-2 Firebirds with 1:31 to play in the third.
Christopher Gibson made 26 saves and earned his 10th win of the season (10-3-3). The victory moves Coachella Valley to 33-9-4-2. The Firebirds’ powerplay went 1-for-3 and the penalty kill finished 4-for-4.
Read the game’s full box score HERE.
NEXT GAME: The Firebirds host the San Jose Barracuda this Monday, February 27th at Acrisure Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm PT.
Full Season, partial plans, and group tickets are also on sale for the Firebirds’ inaugural season. For more information and to purchase your ticket plan, please visit www.cvfirebirds.com or call 760-835-8778. View the team’s full game and promotional schedule, including theme night events at www.cvfirebirds.com/schedule.