Gulls Biweekly Report: Zellweger To Make NHL Debut

Photo: Anaheim Ducks

By Thomas Harrington & Michael Walters

The San Diego Gulls played five games over the past two weeks and had a record of 3-1-1, one of their best two-week stretches of the season. With that record, the Gulls have clawed their way out of the basement of the Pacific Division.

The Gulls started out at home by hosting the Coachella Valley Firebirds. Neither team scored in the first, but Jaxsen Wiebe scored his second career goal less than two minutes into the second, and Andrew Agozzino made it 2-0 late in the period. Coachella Valley got on the board half way through the third, but Colton White scored his first goal of the season to restore the two-goal lead. The Firebirds scored again, but Glenn Gawdin scored into the empty net to give San Diego a 4-2 win.

San Diego then hosted the Iowa Wild for a pair of games. In the first game, Iowa opened the scoring early, but Nikita Nesterenko tied the game, and Chase De Leo gave the Gulls the lead late in the first. Neither team scored in the second, and the Wild tied the game in the third. Neither team scored again in regulation or overtime, and things finished in the shootout. In the shootout, Nesterenko and Brayden Tracey both scored, while Tomas Suchanek allowed only one goal on three chances and the Gulls won 3-2. In the next game, neither team scored in the first or second periods, but Gawdin finally broke the ice in the third. Iowa tied the game a few minutes later. With the game tied at 1-1, the third ended and overtime began. The Wild found the gamewinner and won 2-1.

The Gulls then traveled to Abbotsford for a pair of games. In the first game, Olen Zellweger opened the scoring in the first period, and Gawdin made it 2-0 before the period ended. Abbotsford scored early in the second, but Ben King restored the two-goal lead a few minutes later. Late in the middle frame, Abbotsford scored again to make it 3-2. They then tied the game early in the third, before Zellweger scored the final goal of the game to give the Gulls a 4-3 victory. In the final game, Abbotsford scored twice in the first and again in the second to take a 3-0 lead. Drew Helleson got the Gulls on the board with 30 seconds left in the second, but Abbotsford scored again in the third to restore their three-goal lead. Gawdin scored late, but Abbotsford scored into the empty net and won 5-2.

The San Diego Gulls will play six games over the next two weeks. They’ll return home to host Abbotsford, before hitting the road for a pair of games in Iowa and then one in Milwaukee. To finish things off, the Gulls will return home to host Tucson and then Colorado.

With Jamie Drysdale traded out of Anaheim, it feels inevitable that the Ducks will call up Zellweger and give him a taste of NHL action sooner rather than later. He’s had his rough games but been one of San Diego’s best players this season. At forward, Gawdin has been playing very well recently and could earn a call up if the Ducks need a veteran forward.

While not 100% healthy, the Gulls are healthier now than they were two weeks ago. Health and good goaltending from Suchanek are two of the big reasons why they played so well these past two weeks. If they can keep playing like this, they have an outside shot at making the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Olen Zellweger To Make NHL Debut

The Anaheim Ducks hit the ice this morning for practice with a new face skating among them. Zellweger was present as Eric Stephens of the Athletic reported he had been recalled from San Diego. He also skated with the first power play unit, which included Troy Terry, Leo Carlsson, Mason McTavish, and Sam Carrick. He is listed as wearing number 51 on the Ducks website.

Zellweger has appeared in 34 games with the San Diego Gulls this season. He has 25 total points(8 G + 17 A). He has 14 penalty minutes and an on ice rating of 0. He was named an AHL All-Star recently. He co-leads all AHL rookie defensemen in goals and is second in points and assists. He also co-leads all AHL defensemen with three power play goals. He is second on the Gulls in points and third in assists this season. 

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January 23rd, 2023






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