The San Diego Seals rallied to take the season series against the Vancouver Warriors on Saturday night at Pechanga Arena San Diego by a final score of 13-10.
In a physical, back-and-forth match-up, the Seals scored three goals in the fourth quarter to seal the victory in front of the home crowd.
“We thought we played a really good first half,” said general manager and head coach Patrick Merrill. “We had a good start and getting that early lead in the first half gave us a confidence boost. We were also in the same situation in the last game, but we let it slip away from us. It was a real character game for us in the fourth [quarter].”
Special teams decided the nail-bitter between the Seals and the Warriors. San Diego scored on four out of their six power play attempts while the defense killed off two penalties.
“Special teams are really important,” continued Merrill. “We knew we couldn’t be on the losing side of special teams and expect to win the game. Coach Sanderson worked hard with our offense creating new looks for our power play and we knew it was just a matter of getting shots on net tonight.”
Forward Kyle Buchanan finished the night with five goals and one assist, scoring late in both the second and third quarter.
“I think we started the game with a lot of energy and a lot of speed,” said Buchanan. “When our offense is moving our feet and moving the ball, very simple stuff, it gets the defense thinking. We’ve got a lot of weapons up there, so we’re getting the ball in the back of the net. It’s nice to have the Western Conference tie breaker against them, its huge and now we’re moving on to next week.”
Rookie forward Austin Staats netted four goals and added two assists in the team’s victory. Staats’ performance was highlighted by a behind-the-back goal that sneaked by Aaron Bold in the second quarter.
“My teammates helped me out,” said Staats. “I was getting chucked down a couple times in the past couple games by [Vancouver], so my teammates helped me out to get a little more separation and I got my shots in there.”
The San Diego Seals head to Denver next weekend to take on the Mammoth at Pepsi Center at 6:00 PM PST. The team returns home to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 16. Reserve your seats today at SealsLax.com.