Gulls Kick Off Military Weekend Against ColoradoOct 31, 2019
The Gulls enter the weekend searching for their first win as they host the Colorado Eagles Friday and Saturday night for their first back-to-back home weekend series of 2019-20 at Pechanga Arena San Diego (7 p.m., Stream: AHLTV, Radio: San Diego Gulls Audio Network). San Diego will look to put October in the past and kick off a 12-game November schedule beginning with one of the biggest theme nights of the season.
Friday night’s game kicks off the fifth-annual Military Weekend where the Gulls will pay tribute to local military members and their families, and raise awareness and funds for local military nonprofit organizations. Last season, Military Weekend saw the Gulls provide free tickets to over 3,500 military members and their families as part of a ticket donation plan to benefit local service members where the Gulls matched all fan contributions. San Diego will wear a new camouflage specialty jersey with red, white and blue patriotic accents both nights during the weekend. On Friday night, all fans will receive a military-themed digital snow camo hat upon entry.
San Diego looks to gain its first win after six games while Colorado currently boasts a 4-3-0-0 record on the season as the two clubs enter their first of eight meetings this season. Despite the tough start to the season, momentum is picking up as the Gulls come off their best effort of the season last Saturday in a 3-2 setback against the Ontario Reign. The contest saw defenseman Chris Wideman score his second goal in as many games on the power play, pushing his point streak to three games (2-1=3). Rookie forward Antoine Morand scored his first career goal and his second point of the weekend (1-1=2) Saturday evening while Sam Carrick has a two-game assist streak (0-3=3) and four points his last four games.
Special teams are starting to improve for the Gulls as the team scored a goal on the man advantage in each of their previous two games, going 2-of-12 (16.7%) over that span. In addition, they have also stopped 10 of their last 11 penalties (90.9%). Colorado has only capitalized on the man advantage three times on 32 chances this season (9.4%), while also allowing two shorthanded goals.
“In our practices, we were looking for tempo and execution,” said Dineen. “Trying to find a bit of chemistry within our lines, we made a few adjustments along the way and we’ll look for that to carry into the games. We’re excited about the week we had, and enthusiasm was shown on the ice. We plan on that showing up in the game.”
Last season, the Gulls posted a 3-4-1-0 record against the Eagles (2-2-0-0 at home) where eight matchups last season were decided by just one goal in addition to a two-goal game result due to a late empty-net goal on Dec. 8, 2018. Colorado opened the 2019-20 season by dropping back-to-back games to the Stockton Heat at home, but followed the slow start by winning four of their next five games to improve to 4-3-0-0 this season. Three of their last five games have been decided in either overtime or a shootout, with the Eagles victories in each of the contests.
Last season, a few players had a significant impact in the contests vs. Colorado. Chase De Leo recorded 3-4=7 points and a +4 rating while Carrick and Corey Tropp each tallied 2-2=4 points. Gulls netminder Boyle posted a 2-1-0-0 record with a 2.68 goals-against average (GAA) and .918 save percentage (SV%) and in four games.
“They’re similar to Ontario. I think they’ve added some skill to their lineup,” added Dineen regarding Colorado’s lineup. “What we’ve seen in the past is that they play simple game that has good structure, but there’s a lot of work ethic and size in their lineup. To respond to that, you say our speed game and our pace will keep us not only ahead of anybody, but we can set the pace for the game and that’s certainly what we want to do on home ice.”
After two years with in the Vegas Golden Knights organization, T.J. Tynan signed with the Colorado Avalanche organization this offseason after meeting head-to-head against the Gulls in the Western Conference Finals with the Chicago Wolves. The seventh-year center has made an immediate impact with the Eagles, leading the club in scoring (1-7=8) and assists, including three multi-assist efforts. Goaltender Adam Werner entered the second year of his AHL career as the clear starter for the Eagles. The Swedish netminder played in just four games last season with the San Antonio Rampage and now has as many wins with Colorado a month into the 2019-20 season. In six games, Werner has posted a 4-2-0 record with a 2.98 GAA and a .906 save percentage SV%. Werner also strung together a four-game win streak from Oct. 10-25, allowing nine goals on 137 shots (.934 SV%) in the four-game span.