Sept. 26, 2017
Today marked Day 2 of the 2017 season for the San Diego Gulls with the team once again taking the ice this morning for Training Camp at THE RINKS – Poway ICE. For the 26 players currently at camp, today was a big step towards settling in to the routine and finding their stride.
Setting the pace
While yesterday was full of nerves and occasional rust, the Gulls found Day 2 of Training Camp brought out a much sharper version of themselves. Left wing Greger Hanson was definitely feeling more of a spring in his step while looking forward to the Gulls’ preseason contest at Ontario on Thursday morning.
“It was good,” said Hanson who signed a one-year contract with the Gulls this summer. “I thought yesterday just personally it was pretty sloppy but I felt a lot better today, I think the pace is really good out there, a lot of good players, definitely having fun and looking forward to the game on Thursday.”
Defenseman James Melindy agreed with Hanson that the second day of practice was a step smoother for him.
“Much better for me. I’ve just been at home skating on my own, didn’t go through any NHL camps,” said Melindy. “The first day you just kinda get your feet wet again- it’s always good to get back with the boys. Today was another step forward- it seemed to be much crisper.”
Melindy, like Hanson, has the distinction of coming to camp as a Gull after spending much of last year with the Wichita Thunder of the ECHL before joining the Gulls late in the season on a professional tryout. Both players are happy to be in training camp with more stability this season.
“Nothing is promised, it’s still training camp and there is a lot of work to do,” added Melindy. “Come in every day and work hard to earn a spot here and the help the team and the tradition.”
Life in the Pros
For some Gulls players like Kevin Roy, the new season marks the start of their second full campaign in professional hockey. After a first season where as a rookie Roy scored 16-30=46 pionts, the Quebec native and Ducks fourth-round selection (97th overall) in the 2012 NHL draft, Roy is still adjusting to the grind of the longer professional seasons.
“A lot more games than college,” said Roy. “You just try to come to the rink every day and try to get a little edge every day.”
When looking back on last year, he knows what lessons he will need to bring with him into this season.
“I started off hot and had a little down in the middle of the season, but I learned from that and I can bring it to the season and stay on the same page all the time.”
Below are the line combinations from part of today Gulls practice.
Kerdiles – Nattinen – Ortega
Roy – Soy – Sideroff
Hanson – Dostie – Abbott
Besse – Samuels-Thomas – Saar
Navin – Bickel – Thomas
Thompson – Shea
Schultz – Melindy
Armstrong – Richart
Jones – Hamonic
Training Camp continues this week with two more on-ice practices open to the public and free of charge from 10 a.m.-noon at THE RINKS – Poway ICE. The facility is located at 12455 Kerran St #100, Poway, Calif., 92064. Parking is available at the front of the facility.