Seals Fall to Albany in Game One of Semifinals

May 3, 2024

The San Diego Seals staged a furious late fourth-quarter rally, but came up just short in Game 1 of the National League semifinals Friday night at Pachanga Arena, falling to Albany, 14-12.

After falling behind 13-8 on a power play goal by the FireWolves’ Marshall Powless with 5:54 left, San Diego scored four goals in a 2:25 stretch to get within a goal at 13-12. Curtis Dickson, who led the Seals with four goals, scored twice and Dane Dobbie and Tre Leclaire each scored once to get the Seals within one. The Seals won the ensuing faceoff and had possession in the Albany end, but were whistled for a moving screen and on a quick change of possession, Albany scored an empty netter for the final goal in the 14-12 victory.

It was a penalty-filled game that saw the teams called for a combined 19 penalties.

Dobbie didn’t waste any time, scoring 40 seconds into the contest on the Seals’ first possession of the game to give the home side an early 1-0 lead. After an Albany goal at the 8:45 mark, Dickson helped the seals retake the lead with a goal 34 seconds later while flying through the crease. Albany scored two late goals, including one with just one second left in the quarter to take a 3-2 lead after 15 minutes.

It was all Albany to open the second quarter as they scored three unanswered goals to pull ahead of the Seals 6-2. Dobbie stopped the run with a power-play goal for the Seals with 6:32 left in the half and team captain Wes Berg brought the Seals back to within two with his first goal of the playoffs with just 34 seconds left in the second quarter and with it, Albany took a 6-4 lead into the locker room at the break.

Just like they did to start the game, the Seals scored on their first possession of the second half as Berg netted his second just 23 seconds into the third quarter to get San Diego within a goal at 6-5. The rest of the quarter though was all FireWolves as Albany outscored the Seals, 5-1, to go up 11-6. The stretch included three goals from Albany’s Alex Simmons who finished the night with a game-high five goals. The Seals’ lone goal during the stretch was a power-play goal by Dickson.

The Seals scored the game’s next two goals to open the fourth quarter to get back within 11–8 . Seals season scoring leader, Austin Staats, who scored four goals in the Seals quarterfinal playoff win over Panther City, put his name in the scorebook on a diving goal through the crease and a short time later Berg netted his third off a beautiful feed from Dickson to get the seals back within three, 11–8. Albany scored two more to go up 13-8 before the Seals put together the late rally.

The series now shifts to Albany for Game 2 on Sunday afternoon. Faceoff is 12 p.m. PT.