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Gulls Bi-Weekly Report 3
By Thomas Harrington
After starting the season 0-6, the San Diego Gulls are on fire. They’ve won seven of their last eight games and now have a record of 7-7. They are a long way from having a solid playoff position, but given how the season started, San Diego has really come round since those early-season struggles. Over the last two weeks, the Gulls played in six games and won five of them.
Gulls Hit The Road
The Gulls started things off with a three-game road trip that started in Bakersfield. The game started out quite well, Jack Kopacka and Chris Wideman made it 2-0 less than eight minutes into the game. However, Bakersfield scored three unanswered goals to make it 3-2 before the first was over. In the second, Alex Dostie and Sam Carrick both scored their second goals of the season to put the Gulls up 4-3. Carrick’s was a shorthanded goal. In the third, Kiefer Sherwood scored an empty-net goal to give the Gull the 5-3 win.
Next up, San Diego traveled to San Jose to face the Barracuda. Dostie opened the scoring just over two minutes into the contest, and Carrick made it 2-0 with less than a minute to go in the first. In the second, Blake Pietila scored to make it 3-0. San Jose scored to make it 3-1 late in the second, but that was the final goal of the game and San Diego skated off with the win. At that point, the Gulls had won their first four games of November. This was Ryan Johnston’s first game with the Gulls. He was brought in to help solidify the team’s defense after they gave up far too many chances and goals in October.
The Gulls finished their road trip in Stockton. This game didn’t start so well, as the Heat had a 2-0 lead after the first, and made it 3-0 early in the second. Alex Broadhurst and Carrick scored to make it a 3-2 game after 40 minutes. Early in the third, Wideman scored to tie the game, but Stockton scored three unanswered goals in the final seven minutes of regulation to take a 6-3 win.
Gulls Dominate The Barracuda
The Gulls then returned home to face the Barracuda. Justin Kloos scored his first goal of the season to make it 1-0 just over a minute into the contest. San Jose responded with two goals to take a 2-1 lead. From that point on, San Diego just took over this game. Broadhurst scored to tie the game, and then Carrick scored twice to make it a 4-2 game. In the second, the Barracuda scored the only goal to make it 4-3. In the final frame, the Gulls exploded for five goals. Carrick completed the hat trick less than two minutes into the period, and Dostie and Sherwood both scored in the next few minutes to make it 7-3. Kloos and Chase De Leo both scored shorthanded goals to make it a 9-3 victory for the Gulls. The nine goals were the most scored in one game by the Gulls, and Carrick’s hat trick was the first Gulls hat trick at home.
San Diego Wins Back-To-Back Games Against Ontario
The Gulls finished off this two week stretch with a pair of games against Ontario. In the first, San Diego was on the road to take on the Reign. Sherwood scored the only goal of the first to make it 1-0. In the second, Wideman made it 2-0, but Ontario scored to make it 2-1. Less than two minutes later, Simon Benoit restored the two-goal lead. In the third, the Reign scored again to make it 3-2, but Pietila put San Diego back up by two shortly after that. Carrick and Wideman both scored later in the period to give the Gulls a 6-2 victory. The Gulls then returned home to face the Reign. There was no scoring in the first period, but just 36 seconds into the second De Leo made it 1-0 and Kloos made it 2-0 a few minutes later. In the third, Ontario scored to make it 2-1, but Daniel Sprong, Sherwood, and Hunter Drew all scored to give San Diego the 5-1 victory.
Over the next two weeks, San Diego will play four games to close out November. They’ll start out at home by hosting games against Stockton and San Jose. They’ll then head out on the road to face Ontario, before returning home to face Tucson.
San Diego has gotten some outstanding performances over the last six games. Carrick and Wideman are scoring like mad; they both lead the team with 14 points, while Sherwood is just behind them with 13. Any of them could get called up, though if any of these three do, I’m hoping that it’s Sherwood. Sprong is also riding a four-game point streak and he could get called up. He had a rough start to the season, but he’s been much better lately. Isac Lundestrom has three assists in his last three games. His game is still raw, but I think we’ll see him back in Anaheim at some point this season.
Max Comtois played in San Diego’s three most recent games and recorded four assists. He’s playing well for the Gulls and I expect him back in Anaheim sooner rather than later. Finally, Simon Benoit has four points in his last four games. He was actually briefly called up to Anaheim already this year but didn’t play in any NHL games. He’s been good for the Gulls and I think he’ll make his NHL debut at some point this season.
The Gulls had a terrible October, but a wonderful November has salvaged their season. They’ve got a long way to go make the playoffs, but unlike a couple weeks ago, it now looks like a possibility. While they aren’t going to play at a similar pace through the rest of the season, if they can at least maintain a high level of competitiveness, they should be able to make the Calder Cup Playoffs again.
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November 21st, 2019