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Gulls Open Preseason with 5-1 Win

January 20, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - San Diego Gulls News Release

The San Diego Gulls opened the 2021 preseason with a 5-1 win against the San Jose Barracuda at FivePoint Arena in Irvine, Calif. The Gulls are now 6-4-0-2 all-time in 12 preseason games. San Diego's lineup tonight featured 11 Anaheim Ducks draft picks, including five first-round selections.

Sam Carrick scored two goals in the second period at 2:11 and 9:21 and added a power-play assist on the game's opening goal.

Trevor Zegras recorded two power-play assists for a multi-assist effort in his Gulls preseason debut.

Andrew Agozzino netted the game's opening goal 5:03 into the first frame and added an assist.

Benoit-Olivier Groulx recorded the game-winning goal 18:48 into the first period in his Gulls preseason debut.

Jack Kopacka capped off the scoring at 11:14 of the second period.

Nikolas Brouillard, Chase De Leo, Antoine Morand and Andrew Poturalski also earned assists.

Lukas Dostal stopped 28-of-29 shots for a .966 save percentage (SV%) en route to the 5-1 win in his preseason debut.

The Gulls will continue their 2021 exhibition schedule against San Jose Thursday, Jan. 21 at Great Park Ice (6 p.m.).


San Diego Gulls

Sam Carrick

On playing a game

It took us probably a period to get used to the pace but it's more about the physicality. You can do intersquad scrimmages as much as you want but, when you're going against your own teammates, you're always going to be a little bit more careful out there. You don't want to injure your own teammates. So it was nice to be out there against a real team and play some real hockey, get physical again - get hit, give a hit. It felt good.

On the win

I think we played well. Our power play was pretty good tonight. We had a good lineup dressed tonight. We have a lot of good, young talent and some really good players. I think our guys did a really good job of staying in the moment, sticking to our system, and things that we have been working on what feels like forever now. We've been really hammering down our systems.

On the power play

We have a lot of skill. Having Zegras on the halfway, with the way he sees the ice, really you just have to get open and he'll find you. We saw that on the one goal where we found the seam to [Andrew] Agozzino and Agozzino made a great play to seam it again. I had a tap-in there. I thought our breakouts were good and our in-zone was good. It was definitely promising.

On the young players making their AHL debuts

I thought they all battled really hard. There wasn't anyone that took the night off tonight. It can be a little intimidating going into your first professional game. There are some big boys out there and it's a tough league. I thought our guys did a great job. No one was scared out there and everyone was battling hard. I think we had a winning mindset. We were going to do whatever it took to win and you saw that with the young guys leading the way. It's great to see.

Head Coach Kevin Dineen

On playing a game

We got our preparation in and I think our guys were excited to get out there and play a team in another color there tonight. I think we had a pretty good enthusiasm. I think we were a little scrambly at times. There's areas that, as coaches, you always pick on, but overall we were looking for intensity and some pace and we felt like we certainly had that tonight.

On the team's structured play

We've been talking a lot about our structure. I think in areas that we have been trying to emphasize in our d-zone coverage, we certainly saw some really good moments on that end of things. Our rush game was strong tonight. We haven't spent a lot of time talking about offense because we're believers in our skillset, that our guys will be able to go out there and have the ability to create.

On the power play

When you have a high skillset, which we do, you give them a template and the ability to work within that. Their execution was extremely high. You can talk about a lot of things but when you're passing the puck hard, you get back to the basics. With a lot of things being tape-to-tape and some real creativity, it's hard to defend. Certainly, the power play was a strong point.

On the young players making their AHL debuts

It was good to see. We had four rookies in the lineup, first year pros. I was excited to see Benoit-Olivier Groulx in the faceoff dot, Brayden Tracey and Jacob Perreault along the walls and Trevor [Zegras] to work within our team structure as well as show his offensive skillset. I thought it was a good showing for all our young players and I may have not mentioned our very strong goaltending as well as Lukas [Dostal] had a very solid outing.

On Lukas Dostal

I thought he was excellent. I thought he had some great composure. He got beat by a shot he didn't see. For the most part, he looked big. He looked very comfortable in net. That was a very strong game for him to have under his belt.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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