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Gulls Bi-Weekly Report 2
By Michael Walters
The San Diego Gulls played better over the past two weeks, but still struggled at times, and came away with a record of 2-2-1. While it’s certainly not the turnaround that was hoped for after their struggles in the first two weeks of the season, the Gulls did improve. Hopefully they can keep getting better as the season moves along. For now, they are still at the bottom of the Pacific Division, but Tucson is only two points up on them.
Gulls Beat Condors In The Shootout
The Gulls started things off with four straight games at home; first up were the Bakersfield Condors. Neither team scored in the first period, but the Condors took the lead in the second. Before the middle frame was over, Brayden Tracey would score a highlight reel goal to tie the game, his first career AHL goal. In the third, Trevor Carrick scored his first of the season, but Bakersfield tied the game with just over three minutes to go in regulation. The game went to overtime, but neither team could find the winner. In the shootout, Jacob Perreault scored the lone goal to give the Gulls a 3-2 win.
Colorado Edges San Diego
Next, the Colorado Eagles visited San Diego. The Eagles opened the scoring in the final 10 seconds of the first period, and then scored two quick goals early in the second to make it 3-0. Perreault scored late in the period, and Nikolas Brouillard scored early in the third to make it a 3-2 game, but Colorado hung on for the win from there.
Gulls Double Up The Silver Knights
Next up, the Henderson Silver Knights came to town. The Gulls have had poor starts in most games this season, but played what was easily their best first period of hockey against Henderson. Just a couple minutes into the game, Axel Andersson scored his first of the season, then Tracey scored a few minutes later. Danny O’Regan scored to increase the lead, and Perreault scored a powerplay goal in the final minute to make it 4-0 after 20 minutes. The Gulls finished the first period with 24 shots on net.
In the second, Henderson fought back and scored two quick goals to make it 4-2, but Vinni Lettieri scored to restore the three goal lead. In the final period, Henderson scored again, but Lettieri scored a shorthanded empty net goal to give the Gulls a 6-3 win.
Gulls Lose Twice To The Condors
The Gulls finished off their homestand by hosting Bakersfield. The Condors scored the only goal of the first period, and neither team scored in the second. Maxim Golod scored his first goal of the season to tie the game up, sending it to overtime. In the extra session, Bakersfield scored to win the game 2-1.
The next night, the Gulls traveled to Bakersfield to try to get some revenge on the Condors. Perreault opened the scoring in the first, but Bakersfield tied the game before the period was over. In the second, Perreault scored a lacrosse style goal on the powerplay to make it 2-1. In the final frame, Bakersfield took over, as they scored early to tie it, and then scored on a powerplay to take the lead. They finished things off with an empty net goal to win 4-2.
San Diego will play five games over the next two weeks. They’ll start off with a pair of games in San Jose against the Barracuda, before returning home to host the Barracuda for a pair of games. They’ll finish things off with another trip to Bakersfield.
Perreault continues to be a standout player for the Gulls, leading the team with 13 points in 10 games. If he continues to produce like this, he’ll get a callup to Anaheim sooner rather than later. The Michigan goal he scored was the second in Gulls’ history. The first was scored by Kalle Kossila, and he made his way up to Anaheim shortly after scoring that goal.
Tracey continues to be a nice surprise. After struggling last season, he’s second on the team in points, and recently had a five game point streak as well as the first multi-point game of his career. Lettieri continues to produce, and will likely be back in Anaheim at some point this season.
Unfortunately, in net, both Lukas Dostal and Olle Eriksson Ek are struggling right now. If just one can right their game, it will go a long way to turning San Diego’s season around. If both can, then the Gulls will quickly move up the standings.
While the Gulls were better over the last two weeks, they need to be significantly better going forward or this season is going to quickly get away from them. The good news is that Perreault and Tracey have both been huge bright spots, and they have one of the best powerplays in the league. The bad news is that the goaltending has not been good, and they have one of the worst penalty kill units in the league.
The Gulls can still make the playoffs, but their play in their own end of the ice will need to improve if they want to.
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November 18th, 2021