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Gulls Bi-Weekly Report 6
By Thomas Harrington
The San Diego Gulls played in five games over the last two weeks to finish off 2019. Overall, they went 2-2-1 and still find themselves in sixth place in the Pacific Division. In previous seasons, San Diego has had a strong second half to lead them into the playoffs, a feat that they will need to duplicate once again this season.
Gulls Came Up Short Against Barracuda
The Gulls started things out by hosting the Barracuda. Blake Pietila scored to give the Gulls the lead in the first, and that was the only scoring through the first 40 minutes of the game. However, in the third, San Jose came alive and scored four straight goals. Jack Kopacka did score for the Gulls in the final seconds of the game, but San Diego lost 4-2.
Gulls Edge Stockton
Next up, Stockton came to San Diego. In the first period, Kopacka and Chris Wideman gave the Gulls a 2-0 lead. Late in the second, the Heat scored to make it a 2-1 game. In the third, Stockton scored two more times to take a 3-2 lead, but Kopacka scored his second of the game to tie the game at 3-3. The game went to overtime and then a shootout. Justin Kloos and Kopacka both scored in the shootout to give the Gulls a 4-3 win.
Gulls Earn Split With Reign
The Gulls then had a two-game series against the Reign. The series started off in Ontario, and Kloos scored just eight seconds into the contest. Jani Hakanpaa scored his first of the season late in the period to make it 2-0. Neither team found the back of the net in the second, but the goals came fast in the third period. Kiefer Sherwood started the scoring off, followed by Josh Mahura. Ontario did manage to score one goal, but Antone Morand and Alex Dostie both scored after that to give the Gulls a 6-1 victory. The series then shifted to San Diego, and Dostie gave the Gulls the lead in the first, but the Reign tied it up before the opening 20 minutes were over. In the second, Kloos scored, but Ontario tied the game again. Neither team scored in the third and the game went to overtime, where Ontario scored the game-winner.
Gulls Get Downed By Tucson
The final game of 2019 had the Gulls travel to Tucson. Pietila gave San Diego the 1-0 lead but the Roadrunners tied the game up. Late in the first, Kloos scored to put the Gulls back on top. Early in the second, Tucson tied the game, but Chase De Leo scored to restore the lead. Tucson scored two more times in the second to take a 4-3 lead. In the third, Tucson scored again to make it 5-3, but De Leo answered back to make it a 5-4 game. Tucson would score two more times, including an empty-net goal, to take the 7-4 win.
Mueller recorded 57 total points(20 G + 37 A) during the 2015-16 season with the Gulls. Since then he spent the majority of his time playing in the AHL for Tucson, Toronto, and Syracuse.
Mueller has appeared in 53 NHL games playing for Nashville, Dallas, and the New York Rangers. He has 10 total points(3 G + 7 A) in the NHL.
The Gulls will play five games over the next two weeks to open 2020. In a strange twist of fate, all five games will be at home. The Gulls will start off by hosting Bakersfield for a pair of games, and then host Iowa for a pair of games. The Gulls will finish the next two weeks off by hosting Ontario.
Currently, the Gulls have a number of players in Anaheim. However, there are a couple of defensemen, most notably Brendan Guhle and Mahura, who I believe will make their way back to Anaheim sometime soon. Anaheim is currently using a veteran-heavy defensive core, and it’s not getting it done, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see either of them called up to give the backend some youthful energy.
With five straight games at home, the Gulls have a chance to climb the standings in the Pacific. Bakersfield is only two points ahead of them, and San Diego has two games in hand. If they can open the year with two wins against the Condors, it will go a long way toward getting the Gulls back into the playoff race.
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January 3rd, 2019