Gulls Host Reign In Preseason Finale At Honda CenterOct 10, 2021
By AJ Manderichio/SanDiegoGulls.com
The San Diego Gulls conclude their two-game exhibition schedule with the rival Ontario Reign tonight when they host their annual free preseason game at Honda Center (7 p.m. PT; Video Stream: YouTube, Radio: Gulls Audio Network).
For the sixth season, San Diego is offering free admission and parking for tonight’s game. Fans can still reserve up to eight tickets by clicking here and using the promo code GULLS.
In accordance with California Department of Public Health mandate for indoor mega events, all guests (ages 3 and up) attending events at Honda Center are required to show proof that they are EITHER fully vaccinated (at least two weeks after the last dose) or received a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to the event start time. You can see more policies for attending tonight’s game here.
The Gulls won the first preseason meeting, a 4-2 victory on October 7 at Toyota Arena. The team’s young forwards led the way, with both Alex Limoges and Jacob Perreault recording a goal and assist. Newcomer Brogan Rafferty scored the game-winning goal in the third period, making an immediate impact in his first game with San Diego.
The defenseman wants to see an even steadier effort from his team in the rematch.
“I think it's just our execution, being consistent for 60 minutes,” he explained. “We had really good spurts of that game where we dominated, had a really good forecheck and closed them off at the blue line so they couldn't get in our zone and got pucks to the net. All the things you hear players talk about. And we got away from it at times. They had a few Grade A scoring chances.”
“It's just about tightening up a little bit when we have a lead or when we're trying to get a couple of goals back. It's having that maturity to understand the situation in the game, where you're at and get that next goal or protect that lead.”
The preseason action allows coaches to tailor the systems and structure to an ever-changing training camp roster.
“You know we’re starting, we only had two practices,” Gulls assistant Daniel Jacob said. “Now we can work on a few things when it came to more of a structure and where to go. A lot of moving parts too with guys getting sent down and clearing waivers. So, for us it was to really focus on our group, on all the details that we want to teach so everybody is up to par. And the new guys coming in also needed to catch up as well. So, we like to focus on us and, like you said, it’s a process. So just need to be better next game.”
San Diego saw more than its share of new guys join the team over the last three days. The Anaheim Ducks assigned goaltender Lukas Dostal – who finished the 2020-21 season among American Hockey League leaders in several goalie categories – on Saturday. The team also sent down both Alekander Volkov and Sonny Milano, with more potential roster additions (or subtractions) available before the Gulls hit the ice tonight.
Jacob is impressed with the attitude of those just assigned, who need to process the news while preparing to contribute to a new team.
“You know there’s always disappointment, obviously” Jacob said. “They all want to play in the NHL. You know the attitude was right. They came in, the energy and the tempo was really high for our practices. So, we’re proud of them and it’s a good start.”
The Gulls and Reign will square off 12 times this season, including the season opener on October 16 in Ontario.