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Gulls Bi-Weekly Report 6
By Thomas Harrington
The San Diego Gulls played five games over the past two weeks and won three of them, their most successful two week stretch this season. They are still last in the Pacific, but it was nice to see the Gulls put some wins on the board. San Diego has a huge hole to climb out of if they want to make the playoffs, but with over half the season remaining, there’s still a chance.
Gulls Edge Silver Knights
The Gulls started things out by hosting the Henderson Silver Knights. Things started out well for San Diego, as Glenn Gawdin, Bryce Kindopp, and Michael Del Zotto all scored in the first to give them a 3-0 lead. In the second, Henderson got on the board, but Austin Strand restored the two-goal lead. In the third, Pavol Regenda made it 5-1, but Henderson then pushed to tie the game, scoring three goals, including two in the final two minutes of regulation. The Gulls held on and won 5-4. Olle Eriksson Ek was in net and picked up his first win of the season for San Diego.
Gulls Earn Split In Henderson
San Diego then traveled to Henderson for a pair of games. In the first game, the Silver Knights scored twice in the first to make it 2-0, but Evan Weinger cut the lead in half in the second. In the third period, Henderson scored twice and won 4-1. For their next game, Lukas Dostal was back in net having been returned from Anaheim. Del Zotto got the scoring started in the first, and neither team found the back of the net in the second. In the final frame, Regenda and Brayden Tracey both scored and the Gulls won 3-0. Dostal stopped all 39 shots he faced and had an assist.
Dostal Earns Back-to-Back Shutouts
The Gulls then traveled to Milwaukee for a pair of games. Nathan Beaulieu got things started in the first for San Diego, and Gawdin made it 2-0 in the second. In the third, Benoit-Olivier Groulx scored a shorthanded goal just 37 seconds in, and Tracey and Weinger also scored goals of their own, giving San Diego a 5-0 win. Dostal stopped all 40 shots he faced, giving him back-to-back shutouts in his first two games back with the Gulls.
In the final game, the Admirals were looking for revenge and got it. They scored the only goal in the first period, and then four straight goals in the second to take a 5-0 lead. Gawdin did get the Gulls on the board later in the second, but no goals were scored in the third, and San Diego lost 5-1.
The Gulls will play six games over the next two weeks. They’ll start out at home by hosting San Jose and then Ontario. San Diego will then hit the road for four straight games, starting in Ontario, then heading to Bakersfield, San Jose, and finishing up in Coachella Valley.
Dostal continues to be San Diego’s best player. When he’s in net, the Gull struggle, but when he’s not, they only have two wins in 12 games, with a goals against average of nearly 4.5 and a save percentage below .870 (my thanks to @DucksProspects for the stats). If the Ducks do trade a goaltender and bring Dostal up to the NHL on a full time basis, Eriksson Ek and the rest will need to significantly improve their game for the Gulls to have any hope of making the playoffs. The Ducks did recently sign goaltender Gage Alexander out of the WHL and assigned him to the ECHL. If he plays well there, he could see some time with the Gulls as well.
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January 10th, 2023