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Ontario Sends Gulls to Loss in Season Opener

October 17, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - San Diego Gulls News Release

The San Diego Gulls opened their 2021-22 regular season with a 5-2 loss to the Ontario Reign at Toyota Arena.

Jacob Perreault scored the Gulls first goal of the season on the power-play at 18:01 of the second period. Danny O'Regan picked up an assist on the play to mark his first point as a Gull.

Brogan Rafferty collected a pair of assists for his first points as a Gull.

Vinni Lettieri recorded his first goal of the season with 12 seconds remaining in regulation.

Brayden Tracey earned an assist to mark his first professional point.

Olle Eriksson Ek stopped 27-of-31 shots in the setback.

Four Gulls made their San Diego debut, including O'Regan, Rafferty, Buddy Robinson, and Alexander Volkov.

The Gulls return to San Diego for the club's Home Opener presented by Cal Coast Credit Union Friday, Oct. 22 vs. Stockton (7 p.m.).


San Diego Gulls

Jacob Perreault

On what Ontario did to slow down San Diego

I think they came out strong so we got caught a little bit off-guard. We kind of picked ourselves up at the end of the game, but we still couldn't pull through so just going into the week and full practices and give it all you've got. Try to look forward for the next game.

On building chemistry early in the season

It's a little bit hard, but at the same time, everyone is pretty close so we kind of know a little bit about what everyone can do on the ice, who plays good with who. It's still going to take a couple of games for everyone to get on the same page, but it was a pretty good start tonight. We didn't get the win, but as I said, just look forward to the next game.

On the power play

There's so much talent on this team and when you see one squeeze through like that, it's just a really good feeling so I was really happy for that one. We've got so many guys, we've got two good units out and there's still guys not playing on the power play that should be. We've got a really special group.

Head Coach Joel Bouchard

On why the game was missing the flow they had from preseason

Well, there's a lot of reasons. First of all, a lot of guys are coming in last minute. Obviously, that's always the case in the AHL. We played a hockey club that was way more in-sync, you could see a feel, a build-up of last year. They were very comfortable. It was a very bad game for us, not the one we wanted. I expected it, to be honest. We've got a lot of work to do. Aside from day one, I'm not surprised this is the result. I'm almost happy it happened to be honest because winning is not a magic trick. There's a process to it and although we won the last preseason, it wasn't very good for me either. We've got to go back to work and it's going to take some time. I'm telling you right now, it's going to take time, but games are not won on paper, they are won on the ice.

On what the team can build off from tonight's game

I don't know. I think there's more learning than building blocks. I was (left with) eleven forwards so I had to shuffle the deck a little bit. We've got work to do. That's why I came here - I wanted a challenge, I've got one.

On Jacob Perreault

Well, I think he's one of the guys that's able to play in the AHL as a 19-year-old so he's got some good looks, he's got talent. There's a work in process with him, but he's taking strides. It's not going to be perfect, but like I said, he's a 19-year-old playing with men. Not too many guys were eligible to play this year, but because he played with us last year, there's a chance. He's the least of my worries tight now. He's going to have to keep working and like I said, we're going to work with him, but we're going to have to work with the group for sure.

On the time off before Friday's home opener

Definitely going to use this time to work, to get better. That's my job. That's why I coach. The day I won't coach, I'll do something else, but it's going to take time. A lot of time.

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