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Gulls Bi-Weekly Report 1
By Thomas Harrington
The San Diego Gulls are off to a slow start this season, with a record of 1-4-0 through their first five games. Their lone win was an impressive one against Tucson, but they have been outscored by a combined 22 to nine in their four losses. The Gulls need to quickly turn their season around if they don’t want to be stuck at the bottom of the Pacific Division going forward.
Gulls Drop The Season Opener
San Diego started their season on the road, visiting Ontario to renew their rivalry with the Reign. Ontario took the 1-0 lead in the closing seconds of the first period, and had made it 3-0 by the time the second period was halfway over. Jacob Perreault put the Gulls on the board late in the period, but Ontario restored their three goal lead with an empty net goal with less than three minutes to go in the third. The Reign then scored on the pp to make it 5-1, but Vinni Lettieri scored in the final seconds to make it a 5-2 game.
Stockton To Hot To Handle
The Gulls then had their home opener, as Stockton came to town. The Heat opened the scoring, but Alex Limoges tied things up on the powerplay in the first period. In the second, Stockton took over the game, scoring twice to make it 3-1, and adding a fourth goal early in the third. A minute later Brogan Rafferty cut the lead to 4-2, but the Heat scored two goals in the next three minutes and won 6-2.
Gulls Can’t Find Success Against Ontario
The Gulls then headed back to Ontario for a rematch with the Reign, but Ontario scored twice in the first and twice in the second to make it 4-0 after 40 minutes. Nine seconds into the third, Lettieri scored to make it 4-1, but Ontario would score again in the final minute and win 5-1.
Gulls Earn Their First Win
After three straight losses, the Gulls looked to turn their season around in Tucson. Once again, the Gulls gave up the first goal of the game, but Limoges tied the game up before the first was over. In the second, Jack Badini scored his first career AHL goal and Limoges scored his second of the game to give the Gulls a 3-1 lead. In the third, Sam Carrick and Perreault both scored to give San Diego a 5-1 win. Mason McTavish, playing in the AHL on a conditioning assignment, picked up an assist on Perreault’s goal, his first AHL point.
Gulls Lose Shootout In Arizona
The Gulls finished off their first five games with a second straight game in Tucson. The Roadrunners scored three quick goals, but Brendan Guhle scored his first of the year to make it 3-1 after 20 minutes. McTavish scored his first career AHL goal and Danny O’Regan scored his first goal with the Gulls to make it 3-3 less than four minutes into the second period. The Roadrunners then struck back with two goals of their own, but Hunter Drew scored a goal with 50 seconds left in the middle frame to make it 5-4. In the final period, the Roadrunners scored the lone goal and won 6-4.
The Gulls will play five games over the next two weeks, with the first four being at home. They’ll start out by hosting Bakersfield and then Colorado will come to town. Henderson is next to come to San Diego, before Bakersfield returns to finish up the homestand. The Gulls then head to Bakersfield to wrap up the next two weeks.
The Gulls have struggled a lot in the early goings of the season, but there have been a few standout players. First, Perreault is leading the team in assists with four and points with six, while also being tied for second in goals with two. If he keeps this kind of offensive production up, he’ll be making his NHL debut sooner rather than later. Limoges leads the team with three goals, and if he keeps scoring like this, Anaheim should sign him to an entry-level contract.
After not recording any points in a dozen AHL games last season, Brayden Tracey is tied for second on the team in assists with three. After his struggles last season, it’s great to see him get some offensive production in San Diego. McTavish has two points in two games and is looking good. He’ll be back in Anaheim soon. The question will then become, does he stay with the Ducks or return to juniors to finish out the season? Finally, as a player not known for scoring goals, it was great to see Badini pick up his first AHL goal, after having none in 23 games last year.
The Gulls are off to a rough start this year. That’s partially due to roster turnover; they brought in a number of new faces, and two of their best players from last year, Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drsydale, look to be staying in the NHL for the entire season.
Josh Mahura has also spent the entire year in the NHL, while Simon Benoit has only played in one AHL game, Lettieri in three, and Carrick in two because of their time in the NHL as well. As a result, the Gulls are having to rely on a lot of new faces, and things just haven’t quite clicked for them yet. Hopefully with four straight games at home they can get their season turned around.
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November 3rd, 2021