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San Diego Gulls Bi-Weekly Report 7
By Thomas Harrington
The San Diego Gulls continued their strong play of late, going 4-2 in six games over the last two weeks. While their five-game winning streak did come to an end, the Gulls are continuing to play at a high level and are looking to get back into playoff position.
The Gulls started things off by hosting the Tucson Roadrunners, but the game ended in disappointment. Tucson scored twice in the first period before Corey Tropp cut the lead in half in the second. However, in the third, the Roadrunners scored two early goals and skated off with the 4-1 win. After that disappointing loss, the Gulls hit the road and traveled to Texas to take on the Stars. Kalle Kossila opened the scoring, giving San Diego a 1-0 lead in the first. In the second period, Texas tied the game, but Eric Fehr put the Gulls back on top less than a minute later. After a pretty tame opening forty minutes, the third period was a whirlwind of action. Nicolas Kerdiles made it 3-1 less than two minutes into the final frame, but Texas answered back and made it 3-2 just 13 seconds later. Halfway through the period, the Gulls started to take over as Fehr scored his second of the game to restore the two-goal lead, and a couple minutes later Deven Sideroff made it 5-2. Playing in his first game in San Diego since being waived by Anaheim, Dennis Rasmussen scored into the empty net to make it 6-2. However, with just over a minute to go in the game, Texas managed to get one more goal, and the final score was 6-3.
After defeating the Stars, the Gulls traveled to San Antonio to take on the Rampage. Tropp scored a goal late in the first, and that was the only goal scored through the first two periods. In the third, it looked like San Diego might get the shutout in this one, but the Rampage tied the game with 92 seconds left in regulation. It looked like the game was going to overtime, but with less than a second to go in regulation, the Rampage scored the game-winning goal. The Gulls had played a solid game and this was a heartbreaking loss for the team.
After that last second loss, the Gulls were on the road facing the Stars again. Texas opened the scoring this time before Kerdiles tied the game up. The Stars scored one more time in the first to take a 2-1 lead. The Gulls took the game over in the second when Tropp scored three straight powerplay goals, the second hattrick in San Diego’s history. In the third, Texas scored once, and San Diego skated off with the 4-3 win. Kossila finished the game with four assists.
After that trip through Texas, the Gulls returned home to host San Jose for two games. In the first period, Jared Boll scored his first goal as a Gull, and the rout was on. Kossila scored at the very end of the first to make it 2-0, and Joseph Blandisi made it 3-0 in the second. Fehr scored his 10th of the season in the third, and Sam Carrick made it 5-0. Reto Berra made 46 saves to record the shutout. After being humiliated the night before, the Barracuda wanted some revenge. Fehr opened the scoring in the second, but San Jose tied it before the period was over. In the third, Blandisi put the Gulls on top just a couple minutes into the period, but San Jose tied it up soon after. A couple minutes later, Carrick put the Gulls up 3-2, and that ended up being the final score.
The Gulls will play another six games over the next couple weeks. They’ll start out by hosting Chicago and then the Roadrunners again. San Diego will then hit the road and play two games in Tucson, making it three in a row overall against the Roadrunners. The Gulls will then head back home to host the Barracuda for another pair of games.
The Ducks are the healthiest they’ve been all season, as are the Gulls. As a result, both teams, but the Gulls especially, have a ton of bodies they can utilize on any given night. This has led the Gulls to scratching some of their good, young talent, and Austin Ortega has been assigned to the ECHL so he can get some playing time. Right now, the Gulls have Rasmussen and Boll on their roster, two players who have spent most of the season in the NHL. They also have Kerdiles, Kossila, Blandisi, Andy Welinski, Giovanni Fiore, and Jaycob Megna on their roster, all of whom have played with the Ducks this season. Kossila was just named the AHL’s Player of the Week, scoring one goal and seven points in three games, so he’s probably near the top of the list of likely call-ups. If the Ducks do run into injury issues again later in the season, any of the above players could be on their way back to Anaheim.
The Gulls are on another winning streak, this one a modest three games. Two of those wins came over a division rival that San Diego is jockeying for position with. They’ve played much better over the last month and will need to continue to play at this level if they want to make the playoffs.
Kevin Roy and Ondrej Kase were recently reassigned to the San Diego Gulls this week. The Ducks are on a bye week until this coming Saturday. Roy and Kase will likely get to play with the Gulls as result before being called back up.
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January 9th, 2018