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Gulls Dropped at Ontario 5-1

October 24, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - San Diego Gulls News Release

The San Diego Gulls opened a three-game road swing with a 5-1 setback against the Ontario Reign at Toyota Arena. San Diego scored a goal on the power play for a third consecutive game and is 4/11 with the man advantage on the season to lead the AHL with a 36.4% success rate.

Vinni Lettieri scored his second goal of the season nine seconds into the third period. Lettieri's goal marks the fastest goal scored by a Gull to start a third period (previously 0:14, set by Chris Mueller, Mar. 5, 2016 vs. STK). Buddy Robinson collected an assist on the play for helpers in back-to-back games (0-2=2).

Brogan Rafferty recorded an assist to give him points in each of the Gulls first three games to start the season, tying his career high of a three-game point streak (1-2=3).

Olle Eriksson Ek made 23 saves in the setback.

The Gulls will travel to Tucson for a weekend set with the Roadrunners starting Friday, Oct. 29 at Tucson Convention Center Arena (7 p.m.).


San Diego Gulls

Vinni Lettieri

On taking steps forward tonight:

Yeah, I think we showed positive things in that game. Obviously, we're not happy with where we're sitting right now, but as we're talking about every day, we're worried about the end of the season. So, if it's taking a step in the right direction today for the end of the season, then that's all we can control.

On his power play goal:

Maxie (Max Talbot) has got some good plays, but we just - I don't know. He drew up a nice play and we just executed perfectly and everyone did their job, and so I guess that's just why it worked. The power plays we've had in the past why it hasn't worked is because we're just not on the same page. It's funny that we have a few power play goals already this season and it just feels like it's not clicking. I guess that's a good sign, but those are the types of things we need capitalize to help win games.

On the third period:

Yeah, I think we actually did a lot of good things in the offensive zone, especially Badini's line there. When the goal got reviewed, we all though it went in. Just stuff like that changes the momentum, puts them on their heels a little bit. But like we said, if we can take a step in the right direction tonight, then that's a big thing for us.

Head Coach Joel Bouchard

On how the team played and began to find its identity:

I think it was our best game so far and it's not the result that we want, but I cannot coach a result. There was better effort, more. We didn't have the week of practice that we wanted and I like the players stepping up today. I think we got lucky in the first period either for the couple of bounces there, but you've got to get out as a group, and we did that in the third period. So again, not perfect and I like that the guys were a little irritated so we start digging. It's going to take time, guys. I'm telling you - we have a young forward right now, we have a young team right now. We're more veteran on the backend, but up front there's a lot of youth. So, we're going to keep pushing them, but you're right, that was better.

On the young team's growth through three games:

We've only been together for a couple weeks, you know? We started on the 12th. Really to have everybody back, that's a long time ago. It's starting, but it's going to be a process. I'm not a fool - I understand what the processes of building an identity, but I like the character tonight, I like more jam and I like more enthusiasm. Have to remember, it's a lot of guys coming from a lot of places in hockey. It's going to take time, I'm a patient man. I'm going to push them and let's see how we are in a month.

On the power play:

I think we had some good looks in the third period five-on-five, but you're right that goal. Max Talbot, who's worked that faceoff, which is fun to work on something and you get rewarded. Baby steps with everything right now. I cannot have my nose on the trees. I've got to look at the forest and realize who we are and what we are and where we're heading. Again, like I said, I'm not a fool so I'm going to push them so they become better and let's see where we are on the road.

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