Sept. 27, 2017
Day 3 of the 2017 season for the San Diego Gulls at THE RINKS – Poway ICE included a continued ramping up towards the regular season but also featured an eye towards some preseason business. The club has a 10 a.m. preseason game at the Ontario Reign tomorrow morning at Citizens Business Bank Arena, the first of three preseason games the Gulls will play before opening up the regular season at Tucson on Saturday, Oct. 7th (7:05 p.m.).
One of the biggest challenges of training camp for any hockey team is getting ready for the speed and intensity of a game. For the Gulls, numerous newcomers will be looking to returning players such as defenseman Keaton Thompson for guidance as the preseason games get underway. Thompson, who played for Anaheim in a preseason contest last week will bring that experience to the table for the Gulls.
“I learned a lot, I’m just gonna keep working and bring it down here,” said the second year Gulls.
It’s no secret that the Gulls and the Reign have had their share of battles over the last couple of seasons. Thompson believes that the rivalry with Ontario will help kick-start the preseason.
“Hopefully guys can prove themselves, it’s a rivalry game, every time we play Ontario it’s gonna be an intense game, so hopefully just come out and play hard and show them our game,” he added.
Veteran left wing Nic Kerdiles believes that tomorrow’s game against a rival opponent is important for setting the tone early in preseason for what’s to come during the 68-game AHL campaign.
“It’s the first game you know, just get in a game situation again, try to be a good leader out there for the guys here on tryouts and younger guys,” said the Lewinsville, Texas native who also spent time in Anaheim’s training camp. “Try to lead by example and have a good game.”
The Gulls will host their first preseason contest on Saturday, Sept. 30 vs. the Tucson Roadrunners at Valley View Casino Center (7 p.m.) A Fan Fest will be held before the game from 5-7 p.m. in the North parking lot of the arena.