Gulls announce revised schedule
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Gulls announced their revised playing schedule for the 2005-06 season Friday. The ECHL was forced to change the schedule in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, which forced the Mississippi Sea Wolves and Texas Wildcatters to suspend operations this season.
The Gulls' 72-game regular season schedule still begins Friday, Oct. 21 in Alaska. The Home Opener also remains the same: Saturday, Nov. 5 against Stockton. Because San Diego was slated to play Mississippi twice and Texas three times, there have been some adjustments to both the home and road schedule.
The Sea Wolves have already reopened their office and have begun preparations for 2006-07 while the Wildcatters have announced that they will reopen their offices as soon as possible looking towards next season. Fans interested in submitting donations to relief efforts can log onto www.echl.com for more information.
This will mark the third straight season that the Gulls will open the regular season on the road. Their first three games will be in Alaska against the reigning Pacific Division Champion Aces, who made it all the way to the National Conference finals in last season's Kelly Cup Playoffs.
San Diego will play four more on the road (seven-game road trip to begin the season) before opening the home schedule against Stockton on Nov. 5.
Playing on the road is something San Diego will be used to the first half of the season, as 16 of its first 28 games will be away from home ice. The Gulls' longest road trip of the year will take place in February when they'll embark on a six-game trek.
The Gulls will spend the majority of January at home with 10 of 12 games to be played at the ipayOne Center. San Diego will also close out the season with four of their last five games on home ice.
New to the ECHL in 2005-06 are the Phoenix Roadrunners, Stockton Thunder and Utah Grizzlies. San Diego's first game against the Roadrunners is Friday, Oct. 28 in Phoenix. The Roadrunners will make their first-ever visit to San Diego Sunday, Nov. 13. The Gulls will host the Thunder (formerly the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies) for the Home Opener on Nov. 5 and will make their first appearance in Stockton on Sunday, Feb. 26. The Gulls and Grizzlies meet for the first time in Utah Saturday, Dec. 10 and in San Diego Saturday, Jan. 7.
Other teams to make their inaugural San Diego visits are the Dayton Bombers (March 8) and Johnstown Chiefs (Dec. 3 and Dec. 4). The Gulls will not visit any American Conference teams in the regular season.
To view the complete revised Gulls schedule, log onto www.sandiegogulls.com.
The Premier 'AA' Hockey League, the ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League and there have been 258 players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL. The ECHL has affiliations with 21 of the 27 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 16 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.
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