Stockton Spoils Gulls' Home Opener
The Gulls dropped a 5-1 contest to the Stockton Heat tonight in the club's Home Opener at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
Daniel Sprong scored his first goal as a Gull at 12:37 of the third period. Jack Kopacka and Chris Wideman each earned assists on the goal.
Anthony Stolarz made 26 saves in 48:17. Kevin Boyle stopped all six shots faced in 11:50.
Tonight's attendance was 11,523.
San Diego will close their two-game homestand Friday, Oct. 25 vs. Ontario (7 p.m.).
San Diego Gulls
On the game
I liked our start. It seemed like we had some good energy. We were feeding off the crowd. We got into some penalty trouble there and that shifted some things. That's one area we need to be better as a group. We're making it too easy on the other team. We have some things to work on. But like I said, I liked our start, I thought we were buzzing at first. We just lost the momentum.
On what's needed moving forward
There's no secret formula. It's going to come down to us working hard, getting back to playing that blue-collar style. We know our systems, everything there is in place, our coaches have put all of that in place for us. It's up to us as players. It starts with the leadership here. The older guys that have been around this league, we need to be better. Everyone needs to be better. We're leaving our goalies out to dry. It's not fun right now, I'm not going to lie. But the good news is we have a lot of practice time this week to work on things and we're confident that we can turn it around.
On the team's morale
It's going to come down to the guys that have been around the league. Everyone needs to pull their weight. You want to stay positive and build off the positives that we've had so far. But we need to fix a lot of things. It's simple things like winning puck battles, battling, creating scoring chances which have been tough to come by so far. We're going to work on them all week.
On finding cohesiveness despite the turnover
That's the nature of this league. It's like that everywhere. Every team has players going up and down all the time. It's not just our team going through it, it's everyone. Obviously, it's everyone's goal to play in the NHL. If we're going to do that, we need to come together as a team. The guys need to pick each other up and move forward.
Head Coach Kevin Dineen
On the game
We thought we'd get a little home crowd behind us, get in our building for a few days, and that would have a positive effect on us. But I felt like their team played extremely well. They played hard and our push back is just not there right now. It feels like we are still in a mode that is not automatic. Things are still looking like we are playing too robotically. We need to get our feet moving, we need to start again in practice this week. We've kept a real positive attitude, we want these guys to come to the rink, enjoy that every day and work hard.
On turning point in first period
It's been a little bit of a signature of our team. We start fine and then all of a sudden we get a goal down and I didn't like our push back. You get a goal down, so what? You take it to them. We are letting teams come to us instead of reacting to the plays. Way too much of that right now. We need to start playing with a little more of an offensive mindset. Not just on offense, but when they have the puck we need to go harder at people and be more sincere in our game.
We are going to practice tomorrow and that's not a fun day for any of us, but we felt that we didn't bring a complete work ethic. We will put a little work in tomorrow and then I plan on putting together something solid that will build us up. You don't like to think that you're at a desperation point two weeks into the season, but that certainly looked like the case tonight.
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