Dostal, Gulls Break through against Stockton
The San Diego Gulls opened their 2022 schedule with a 4-1 victory over the Stockton Heat Friday night at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
Lukas Dostal stopped a season-high 37-of-38 shots in the victory to improve his record to 6-6-0 on the season.
Brayden Tracey scored the game-winning goal at 10:32 of the second period to earn his fifth multi-point game of the season with 1-1=2 points and now leads the club in scoring with 8-11=19 points.
Nikolas Brouillard collected 0-2=2 points for his fourth multi-point game of the campaign and now leads the club with 12 assists.
Bryce Kindopp earned his second multi-point contest of the season with 1-1=2 points. He now ranks tied for fourth on the team in assists and fifth in scoring with 3-9=12 points.
Hunter Drew notched his fourth goal of the season to hit double-digit point totals for a second consecutive season with 4-6=10, while Benoit-Olivier Groulx scored his second goal in as many games.
Brent Gates Jr. and Jacob Perreault each earned assists, with Gates Jr.'s helper marking his first point (0-1=1) of the campaign in his Gulls season debut.
The Gulls continue their weekend back-to-back tomorrow, Jan. 8, against the Ontario Reign at Toyota Arena (6 p.m.).
San Diego Gulls
On getting their first win against Stockton:
Obviously, they're a really good team. You look at their record- just like any team in this league, you've got to come ready to play every night and they've been rolling. So, we had a lot of time off there and I think all the guys just bought in and we were ready to play. They're a good team, we just stuck to the system and just did what we had to do. So, in the end, it gave us the result we wanted.
On how the time off benefitted the team:
Just like you said, a lot of time off so a lot of good practices. I know I was fortunate enough to get a game in with the Ducks and obviously, a really cool experience, so I think that helped me prepare too, but I know all the guys were just itching to play. Just have the right mindset in practice all week and a lot of rest so a lot of fun to play again.
On the positive impact the penalty kill had on the team:
When you can kill penalties like that, obviously Dostal made a lot of good saves there, our killers did a good job, (Assistant coach) Dan (Jacob) did a good job there of drawing up how we have to set up and we just kind of kept it to the outside and Dostal made big saves. When you kill penalties like that, it creates a lot of momentum. Then, you can build from there.
On tomorrow's road game against Ontario:
They're a really good team. Get your fluid in you tonight, get sleep and then right back at it, which is nice. Maybe if guys didn't think they played their best, they get to go back at it tomorrow. Obviously, a really good team so same mindset- stick to the system, do what you have to do and the result will take care of itself.
Head Coach Joel Bouchard
On what impressed him the most from his team's performance:
Attitude. Attitude and buy-in. This is what we've been working through on all the details and I've said I'm demanding and when they're good, you know I'll always go vocal about it. I thought tonight they were very good on every little thing and that's how we build the program. There was some adversity, obviously, guys didn't play for a long time, but I thought preparing to that game, practices were good. Guys were a little tired tonight. I could tell some red cheek on the bench or guys coming back with a bit of long-legs at times, but to me, the attitude and like I said, the buy-in, was a big difference.
On a veteran like Hunter Drew scoring first to set the tone of the game:
We were doing a lot of good things. Obviously, sometimes we weren't as crisp as you'd like, but with a long break like that it was kind of expected. It was pretty positive until Hunter's goal, but I feel, after his goal, it kind of, you're right, gave some spirit to the guys. We had a lot of scoring chances tonight. I thought the guys bought into what we worked on this week. We've told them a few things we want to be better at. Obviously, we only played 22 games before Christmas with a lot of moving parts. The coaching tried to implement a system that's demanding. I thought tonight the guys did real well and you're right- that goal changed it.
On the contributions young players like Bryce Kindopp and Benoit-Olivier Groulx made:
I think the guys-it's been a long week in a way that some guys have been going up, coming back down and then practicing with us and we even had a conditioning skate. Everybody was really zoned in tonight and you're right that those two players, and everybody, but some guys had to play big minutes with special teams - power play and pk. They did very well.
On Lukas Dostal's performance:
I like that he was calm. I thought he read the play very well. You know, obviously, there's some really good scoring chances, but there was a lot of long shots there where he was a bit of a Velcro for me where they weren't dangerous shots, but they could have been if he would have boxed that puck up. He didn't play for a long time. You've got to remember his last game was December 17 so I thought he was really good at keeping his rebounds, he was really calm in net. He had a couple power plays in the second period that's not always easy for a goalie. It gets tiring. I felt he was in control.
On what the team has to do to prepare for tomorrow's game against Ontario:
Same buy-in and respecting. I thought one thing we did really well was respecting the game meaning that when there was nothing to create, we've made it difficult. When we had a chance to create offense, we did. I thought that they were rock-solid tonight. I've got to mention it. I think they were extraordinary, to be honest. They made some big plays with the puck, but they made some big plays defensively. So, I'm expecting our d-core to lead the way against and the forwards to keep making those good selections with the puck.
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American Hockey League Stories from January 8, 2022
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- Abby Earns Point But Falls to Condors in OT 4-3 - Abbotsford Canucks
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