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Gulls Biweekly Report 2
By Thomas Harrington
The Gulls have cooled off after their hot start, going 2-4 over their last six games. Similar to Anaheim’s struggles with Vegas, San Diego is having difficulty with the Henderson Silver Knights, Vegas’ AHL affiliate.
Gulls Edge Condors
San Diego started things off with an impressive 4-3 win over Bakersfield, giving them a 6-0 start to the season, completely the opposite of last season’s 0-6 start. However, this game didn’t start out well for the Gulls, as the Condors had a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the contest. A little more than 12 minutes into the period, Benoit-Olivier Groulx scored his first career professional goal to make it a one-goal game, and Jacob Perreault tied the game with his first career professional goal less than a minute later.
In the second, Trevor Carrick scored his first goal as a Gull, but Bakersfield tied the game before the period was over. 26 seconds into the final frame, Vinni Lettieri scored to give the Gulls the win.
Bakersfield Blows Out San Diego
The Gulls then went on the road, traveling to Bakersfield for their first road game of the season. The Condors scored three times in the first to take a commanding 3-0 lead. Sam Carrick made it 3-1 in the second, but the Condors scored two more times in the third to take the 5-1 win. This has been the only game so far this season where San Diego has had a truly bad game.
San Diego Dominates Colorado
The Gulls then returned home to face off against Colorado. For the first time this season, San Diego finally scored the first goal of the game, as Lettieri scored just 28 seconds into the game. Codie Curran made it 2-0 a few minutes later, and Trevor Zegras made it 3-0 just over five minutes into the game. Colorado made it 3-1, but Andrew Poturalski restored the three goal lead before the first was over.
In the second, Lettieri and Zegras both scored their second of the game to make it 6-1, but Colorado made it 6-2 before the period ended. The goal was scored by former Duck and Gull Kiefer Sherwood. In the third, Jamie Drysdale made it 7-2, but the Eagles scored one more time that period, and the Gulls won 7-3, giving them a 7-0 record at home.
Gulls Drop Three In A Row In Nevada
The Gulls then went back on the road to face off against Henderson for three straight games. In the first game, Bryce Kindopp scored his first career AHL goal late in the opening period. In the second, the Silver Knights tied the game, but Groulx restored San Diego’s lead. In the third, Henderson took over, as they scored two early goals to take a 3-2 lead, and then finished things off with an empty netter to take the 4-2 win.
In the second game, Henderson took an early 1-0 lead, and made it 2-0 halfway through the second. Chase De Leo made it 2-1, but Henderson scored to restore their two-goal lead before the period was over. In the third, Drysdale scored his fourth goal of the season to make it 3-2, but Henderson was able to shut San Diego down the rest of the way and won 3-2.
In the final game of the three game series, the Gulls came out flat, and Henderson made it 1-0 late in the first. However, Andrew Agozzino scored a powerplay goal to tie the game with eight seconds left in the period. The Gulls were much better in the second, and Sam Carrick and Kindopp teamed up for a pretty goal to make it 2-1, but Henderson tied the game before the period was over. The Silver Knights took a 3-2 lead early in the third, and they scored an empty net goal to take the 4-2 win. The Gulls are now 0-4 on the road to start the season.
The Gulls will play seven games over the next two weeks. They’ll start out by traveling to Ontario to take on the Reign, then return home for a pair of games against San Jose. San Diego will hit the road after that, traveling to San Jose and Bakersfield, before returning home to face Tucson and Henderson.
Zegras and Lettieri have been San Diego’s two most dangerous forwards to start the season, and both have been rewarded with being called up to the NHL. Drysdale has nine points and is one of the top scorers in the AHL. Depending on what happens with the OHL this season, he might be given a chance in the NHL at some point.
De Leo and Poturalski have both been playing well too, and I expect at least one of them to see time in Anaheim at some point. Finally, Lukas Dostal continues to be one of San Diego’s best players. The Ducks are set in net with John Gibson and Ryan Miller, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Ducks gave him a start at some point to give him a taste of the NHL.
At home, the Gulls are unbeatable, but have been winless on the road. However, three of those road games have come in Henderson. The Gulls need to continue their home dominance and turn their play around on the road if they want to be one of the top teams in the Pacific when the season ends. The good news is that San Diego is still one of the top three teams in the division because of how well they have been playing at home.
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March 3rd, 2021