Gulls Close Preseason with a Victory
The San Diego Gulls concluded their 2021 preseason with a 5-2 win against the Ontario Reign at Toyota Arena. The Gulls are now 10-5-0-2 all-time in 17 preseason games, including 5-5-0-0 in designated home contests.
Vinni Lettieri recorded 1-2=3 points, including a shorthanded goal with 44 seconds left in the first period that stood as the game-winning tally. Lettieri finished the preseason with 2-2=4 points, pacing the Gulls in scoring and ranking tied for second among AHL leaders in points.
Alex Limoges opened the scoring with his second goal of the preseason at 3:51 of the first period.
Brogan Rafferty scored his second goal in as many games at 16:37 of the first period.
Bryce Kindopp netted his first goal of the preseason at 14:11 of the third period.
Jack Badini and Buddy Robison each earned a pair of assists. Sonny Milano and Alexander Volkov picked up assists in their Gulls preseason debuts.
Lukas Dostal stopped 23-of-25 shots in the victory.
The Gulls will open their 2021-22 regular season Saturday, Oct. 16 at Ontario (6 p.m.), with the club's Home Opener scheduled for Friday, Oct. 22 vs. Stockton (7 p.m.).
San Diego Gulls
On going 2-0 in the preseason
I mean winnings always better. Right? A lot to work on. A little sloppy. I think it's a preseason game for them and us too. Working on things, finding guys. Everyone's a new face right now so we're just trying to find those lines and get some chemistry going. Winnings better than losing, so it's just always fun to win. So happy with our team. We got a lot of talent, so it'll be an exciting season. Really ready to get going.
On building chemistry
Yeah for sure, it's definitely tough. Played with a lot of guys here for Ducks camp and then you're coming down here for San Diego camp...there's new faces everywhere, but it's just about playing the system, listening to your coaches, and just kinda having some fun out there. Preseason you're just trying to make an impression and kinda get your feet wet. Get ready. Coming out with a win is always nice too.
On his style of play
Yeah for sure, that's kinda my game. Whatever line I'm gonna be on it's just gonna be about getting into the O-zone, forechecking, long stick, getting in the way, creating turnovers and then getting to the front of the net. Big body, just gonna get there and start banging home some rebounds and making some little plays like that with (Alex Limoges) there on the doorstep. It was nice to get one early.
On starting the regular season
Yeah definitely, it's going to be nice when the puck drops and points are on the line and it actually matters. So we're excited. It's been a long month here at training camp. Everyone's ready to kinda ease into the season here and then full board on Saturday when we get going.
Head Coach Joel Bouchard
On finishing the preseason without a loss:
I think it's more the process that we look at, and I think it was an up and down game. We didn't have quite the performance we had a few days ago. That being said, a lot of new guys coming in the lineup, a lot of guys that have been playing a long time. I thought we were out of sync from time to time, which is going to take a little bit of time and I'm going to be demanding on some of the stuff, so I'm counting on the next few days of practice and let's see how we react next game. I think we had some timely goal and some timely save. I'm more looking at the process and like I said, I think it was an up-and-down game.
On the roster turnover during the last few days of camp:
Some guys didn't really skate with us, so all of a sudden they're jumping into a game and it's a lot. I've been a player; I know how that is. I understand the process of some guys getting a little disappointed to be back in the minors, which is understandable. I don't think anybody's dream should be to play for the Gulls; at one point it should be to go up with the Ducks. Guys have been great, though. Attitude was outstanding tonight, although we didn't have our best collective game. Like you said, it's the first day for a lot of guys, so let's see how we do on the road.
On the performance of Vinni Lettieri (1-2=3) in the win:
Passionate. Passionate hockey player, wants to know what's going on, very aware on the bench, very aware on the ice, so that's exciting to see engagement. I have to say that he's been the one that's asked a lot of questions and he wants to make sure we're on the same page. Like you said, many days it's important to have guys that take charge.
On how excited he is for the regular season:
I'm excited about going back to San Diego and working with the guys. I'm a day-to-day kind of guy, and I'm looking forward for Wednesday when we're making a move in San Diego with practice Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then we have our first game. We're not going to play much the first few weeks, which is good. Going to give us time to work on our game to be in sync and that's what I'm planning on doing.
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