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Gulls Bi-Weekly Report 7
By Thomas Harrington
After their most successful two-week stretch of the season, where the San Diego Gulls won three out of five games, the most recent two-week stretch went much worse. The Gulls played six games and had a record of 1-5. With 32 games left, their playoff hopes are all but gone unless they start a lengthy winning streak soon.
Things started well for the Gulls as they hosted the San Jose Barracuda. San Jose held a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, but Pavol Regenda and Benoit-Olivier Groulx responded in the second to tie the game. In the third, Hunter Drew scored late to give the Gulls the lead, and then Rocco Grimaldi scored a pair of shorthanded empty net goals to give the Gulls a 5-2 win. The Gulls then hosted Ontario. Neither team scored in the first, but Ontario took the lead with the only goal in the second period. In the third, Michael Del Zotto tied it early, but just over a minute later Ontario was back on top. They then scored an empty net goal late to win 3-1.
San Diego then hit the road for four straight games, starting with a rematch against Ontario. The Reign scored two goals in the first, two goals in the second, and one in the third to take a 5-0 lead. Drew Helleson and Groulx scored about 40 seconds apart and the Gulls lost 5-2. The Gulls then traveled to Bakersfield to face the Condors. It had a similar start as the game against Ontario; Bakersfield scored two goals in both the first and second periods to take a 4-0 lead. Regenda put the Gulls on the board, but Bakersfield scored an empty net goal and won 5-1.
The Gulls then traveled to San Jose for what turned into an ugly game. San Jose scored once in the first period, twice in the second, and three times in the third to win 6-0. San Diego finished things off with a trip to Coachella Valley. Regenda scored the only goal of the first, but the Firebirds tied it in the middle frame. However, before the second was over, Glenn Gawdin scored late to give the Gulls a 2-1 lead. In the third, Coachella Valley scored three straight goals in the first nine minutes and won 4-2.
San Diego will play six games over the next two weeks, starting with a four game homestand. They’ll host Bakersfield for a pair of games, followed by Ontario and then Abbotsford. The Gulls will then travel to Coachella Valley for two games.
While the season is quickly slipping away from the Gulls, Regenda has been playing well. If the Ducks move out some veterans at the deadline and need callups from San Diego, he’s put himself in line to be among them. Despite giving up a lot of goals over the past two weeks, Lukas Dostal continues to be San Diego’s best player and is another one who we could see in Anaheim to end the season.
Like the Ducks, little has worked for the Gulls this season. At this point, I think it’s too late to turn things around. Instead, just as it is in Anaheim with Trevor Zegras and Mason McTavish, the focus for the Gulls needs to be on developing their young players and getting them ready for the NHL. Hopefully Groulx, Brayden Tracey, Jacob Perreault, Regenda, and Helleson all have strong finishes to the season.
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January 24th, 2023