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Gulls Bi-Weekly Report 4
By Thomas Harrington
The Gulls’ up and down season continued over the last two weeks. They started out by winning two straight, before dropping the next three in a row. Overall, San Diego went 2-3 over the last couple of weeks.
The Gulls opened the last two weeks by hosting the Tucson Roadrunners and skated away with their biggest offensive output of the season. Mitch Hults and Mike Liambas got the scoring started in the first, but Tucson made it 2-1 before the second began. In the middle frame, Eric Fehr, skating in his first game as a Gull, increased the lead to 3-1 and Kyle Thomas also scored his first as a Gull to make it 4-1. The Roadrunners made it 4-2, and the second wasn’t even five minutes old. Spencer Abbott scored the final goal of the second to give San Diego a 5-2 lead. In the third, Andy Welinski scored his fifth of the season just over 30 seconds into the period. Tucson scored one more time, and then both Fehr and Abbott scored their second goals of the game to give San Diego the 8-3 win. Kevin Boyle made 31 saves in the win, and the Gulls’ powerplay went four for nine in the contest. Abbott had four points in the game, while Welinski and Hults both had three.
Tucson stuck around in San Diego for a rematch the next night. This time around, the Roadrunners opened the scoring in the first and neither team lit the lamp in the second. In the third, Welinski and Abbott gave the Gulls the lead halfway through the period, but Tucson tied it up before regulation ended. There was no scoring in overtime and the game went to a shootout. Boyle allowed only one goal against in the shootout, while Abbott and Kalle Kossila scored to lead San Diego to victory. The Gulls then traveled to Tucson, and suffered one of their worst defeats of the season. The Roadrunners scored two in the first, one in the second, and two more in the third for the 5-0 win.
After that defeat, the Gulls returned home to host Bakersfield. The Condors built a 3-0 lead before Kossila scored early in the third to make it 3-1, but an empty net goal for the Condors gave them the 4-1 win. San Diego finished things off by traveling to San Jose, in what was probably the Gulls’ most demoralizing loss of the season. The Barracuda scored the only goal of the opening frame and led 1-0 heading into the second period. In the second, the Gulls took control, as Julius Nattinen, Austin Ortega, and Giovanni Fiore scored within three minutes of each other to give San Diego the 3-1 lead, which held up heading into the third. Before this game, San Diego was 67-1-2 when leading after two periods since Norfolk moved to San Diego just over two seasons ago. However, in the third, San Jose scored two goals just over 20 seconds apart to tie the game up before the period was five minutes old. San Jose scored two more goals to get the 5-3 win. This was one the Gulls let slip away from them and should have come out with the victory.
The Gulls will only play four games over the next two weeks. Their loss in San Jose was the first game of a five game road trip. Game two will take place close to home in Ontario, and then San Diego will travel to Milwaukee. The Gulls will wrap up their road trip with stops in Chicago and Iowa.
Kevin Roy, Kossila, and Liambas are all currently in Anaheim. With those three gone and Nicolas Kerdiles and Corey Tropp still out of the lineup, the Gulls can’t afford to give up any more players to Anaheim, especially at forward. Still, if anyone needs to come up, the next most likely callup would probably be Fiore, who had two points in the loss to San Jose and has 12 points in 17 games this season. On defense, Welinski is putting together a solid sophomore campaign and could be the next blueliner called up, if one is needed.
With the first two months of the season behind them, the Gulls find themselves at the bottom of the Pacific Division. Over the last two years, the Gulls have been great in the second half of the season, and the hope is that they will be able to do it again. Getting healthy would go a long way in making this happen, but certain players need to step up with so many out of the lineup. Hopefully this road trip will be the catalyst that helps turn their season around.
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November 29th, 2017
Filed under: Ducks News Tagged: Bi-weekly report, ducksnpucks, san diego gulls