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EAGLES LOSE TO GULLS IN IHL SEASON OPENER

SHARE EAGLES LOSE TO GULLS IN IHL SEASON OPENER

A flood of penalties proved costly, especially to the Salt Lake Golden Eagles in their opening night International Hockey League debut before San Diego Gulls' fans on Thursday.

The Eagles lost to the Gulls, 4-2, in a game where players were whistled for 108 minutes in the penalty box.Third-year coach Bob Francis admitted afterwards that his team "wasn't disciplined" in this game and that the penalties "disrupted the flow of our game immensely."

Salt Lake was hit with 20 penalties for 55 minutes and San Diego 15 penalties for 53 minutes.

San Diego scored first - 5:23 in the first period - during a scramble in front of the Eagles' net. Two minutes later the score was tied when Eagle veteran Todd Harkins picked up a deflected shot in front of the net and scored. Two minutes later, however, San Diego scored again.

Then the Gulls went up 3-1 in the second.

Salt Lake answered at 5:02 in the third when defenseman Kevan Melrose picked up a missed pass and slapped it in from 20 feet out.

The Gulls scored with just three minutes remaining, however, to put the game away.

The Eagles were able to stop 11 of the Gulls' 13 power plays, but the Gulls were able to stop all seven of the Eagles'. Salt Lake took 27 shots-on-goal, while San Diego took 30 at Eagle goalie Warren Sharples.

The two teams will play again tonight in San Diego. In goal for the Eagles will be rookie Jason Muzzatti. The Eagles will move to Kansas City on Saturday.