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Gulls Bounce back with Win over Abbotsford

January 16, 2022 - American Hockey League (AHL) - San Diego Gulls News Release

The San Diego Gulls defeated the Abbotsford Canucks 4-3 Saturday night at Pechanga Arena San Diego for their first victory over the American Hockey League's newest franchise. Francis Marotte stopped 29-of-32 shots for his first career win and has backstopped the Gulls to standings points in two of his first three AHL starts (1-1-1-0).

Kodie Curran collected three assists for his first multi-point and multi-assist game (0-3=3) of the season, establishing a new career high for assists and points in a game. Curran has earned four assists over his last three games (0-4=4).

Brayden Tracey earned two assists for his third multi-point effort in his last four games (2-4=6) and leads the club in goals, assists and points (9-14#). Among AHL rookie leaders, Tracey ranks tied for seventh in points (23) and tied for eighth in goals (9).

Danny O'Regan opened the scoring on the power play at 6:42 of the second period, marking his fourth power-play goal of the season to tie Jacob Perreault for the team lead.

Hunter Drew scored his sixth goal of the season to match his career high set in 2020-21 and now has goals in three of his last four games (3-0=3).

Alex Limoges netted his first career shorthanded goal at 3:38 of the third period. Trevor Carrick matched his season high with 1-1=2 points.

Joel Bouchard coached his 200th AHL game, collecting his 94th AHL victory.

The Gulls head on a four-game road trip beginning Tuesday, Jan. 18 against the San Jose Barracuda at SAP Center (7 p.m.).


San Diego Gulls

Head Coach Joel Bouchard

On the start of the game:

We talked about it last night a little bit. I know last night was a loss, but there was a lot of things I liked in the game. The way we progressed in the game last night. Didn't click in maybe offensively. And when I watched the game again today I felt we were right there. I just asked for a little more in a few areas and the guys delivered. They delivered from the first minute. It was fun to coach tonight. The guys were sticking together, a lot of emotion. It was good. I'm very happy with the performance. I think the guys took a step tonight.

On what the team built on from last night:

Well I think against Abbotsford we're a little bit, like, know they have a good team, they have good top end players, and I think we were just kinda on our heels. I feel yesterday, after the first period, it was like 'okay, now let's play with them.' And we kinda did. And although we didn't win, I think we built some confidence yesterday with the guys and were like 'you know what, we've been better than this.' And showing them a couple clips today I think they realize that like 'right, we're right there.' It's not like we can't play them. So, what I like is the first game against Abbotsford I wasn't happy at all the way we performed and we handled it. Yesterday I felt we were getting a little better. And again, today, it's a young group in a lot of positions. It was fun to see the investment from the guys and taking care of each other on the ice. It's a heavy team that plays really hard and the guys stuck together tonight.

On Francis Marotte:

Well, you have to understand he's playing his first three games in the AHL. The caliber is obviously higher than the east coast league and we thought that every game he progressed a little bit. Yesterday he made some big saves and obviously there's a growing part, but tonight he was solid. He was very solid. We had long PKs. PKs are tiring for goaltenders. In a back-to-back, that's pretty impressive for him to be keeping the stamina. And he made a couple of saves when we needed it. Everybody's very happy, players, coaches, everybody. Jillian (Reddin) just asked me 'did we get the puck for him?' Cause obviously it's important we remember that for him it's a big step in his career. We assured Jillian that we had the puck for our goalie.

Francis Marotte

On the win in his back-to-back starts:

It feels pretty good. I mean I'm used to it. I did that quite a bit in college. So, it was nice to get back-to-back starts and get the ball rolling last night and keep it going tonight.

On seeing the same team in two nights:

I think I approached the game the same way every night. I prepared the way I can, make sure I'm ready to make the timely saves.

On Jeff Glass being a mentor for young goalies while in San Diego:

He's very helpful. Obviously, he's been around quite a bit, so he knows a lot about the game, and he's helped me a lot this year since I got here. He gave me a couple good tips here and there that made a huge difference in my game. Even from last week's game to today's game. So I'm really grateful to have him on my side.

On the long penalty kill in the third period:

I don't think anything changes. Obviously, we had a big kill. The five-minute penalty was huge, but the guys just kept grinding. Two games in two nights, guys are getting a little tired at the end of the second game for sure. But we kept battling and it paid off.

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