A Historic Night In San Diego

PREVIEW: Gulls Debut Third Jersey In Series Finale With The Barracuda

Nov 25, 2021

By Paige Burnell/SanDiegoGulls.com

The San Diego Gulls are on the hunt for a four-game series sweep of the San Jose Barracuda and are doing so in style as they debut their new third jersey tonight at the Pechanga Arena San Diego (5 p.m. PT, TV: FOX 5 San Diego; RADIO: Gulls Audio Network).

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The Gulls are 37-18-4-1 all-time and 19-7-2-1 at home against the Barracuda after a 5-1 victory against the club on Wednesday to lengthen their first win streak of the season to three games.

“Well, it hasn’t been perfect, but we try to climb with our style of play and had a really good start, became flat for a little bit, and then we like the way we respond end of the second period and then the third was exactly what you expect when a team is leading,” Gulls head coach Joel Bouchard said. “It’s been three games in a row where seemed to manage it very well.”

San Diego will debut its third jersey – the first in its American Hockey League history – in tonight’s Black Friday matchup. The Gulls announced the jersey last week, which blends the rich tradition of hockey in San Diego with the team’s future in the city. Details include a nod to the city’s nickname and key dates on the collar, a unique blue color to reflect San Diego’s coastal location and more.

As part of the festivities, Hockey Hall of Famer Willie O’Ree will participate in a ceremonial puck drop.

In Wednesday’s win, San Diego played a very tight game defensively and dominated both ends of the ice, controlling the puck for the majority of the game. This gave several Gulls players room to produce offensively, and in a couple of cases, contribute on the score sheet the first time. 

Vincent Marleau scored the first goal of his AHL career, a late tally in the second period to put the game out of reach. 

“I saw Morgy (Adams-Moisan) kind of get the puck at the blueline and saw he had a three-on-one going to the net,” Marleau said. “He made a nice pass to Tracey, I just crashed the net and the puck was right there. Luckily, it went in. It felt so good to score my first goal.”

Greg Pateryn also lit the lamp for the first time this season, scoring on the man advantage for his first power-play goal as a Gull. 

San Diego dominated the special teams on Wednesday, scoring twice in three opportunities on the power play and killing all six of San Jose’s man advantages.

Executing a consistent penalty kill is a goal of the Gulls, and the team is starting to see huge strides toward making both special teams formidable forces.

“They’re very receptive and as a coach, I’m taking them out of their comfort zone,” Bouchard said. “I’m asking a heavy game, a grinding game, a puck management game. With the young team we have out front, I’m feeling this I our best chance to develop as NHL forward and defensemen, but also collectively as a team to keep game tighter and rely on our good habits. So, we always go back to that and I’m not giving them an inch. I’m demanding, but I’m there for them and we’ve got to keep pushing.”

Following through with the good habits Bouchard ingrained in the Gulls paid dividends for the team on Wednesday.

Brayden Tracey collected his first career three-point game, scoring twice in the third period to go with his assist on Marleau’s first goal. He also finished the game with a career-high +3 rating for Tracey, who now and leads the Gulls with a +7 rating overall. 

Nikolas Brouillard extended his point streak to a career-high four games (2-5=7) with a first-period goal, his third goal of the season. Brouilllard is second on the team in scoring with 3-8=11 points and is tied for first in assists. 

Jacob Larsson is also on his way to breaking his own records as the Swedish defenseman notched his seventh helper of the season, his career-tying fourth consecutive game with an assist.Jacob Larsson is also on his way to breaking his own records as the Swedish defenseman notched his seventh helper of the season, his career-tying fourth consecutive game with an assist.

“We’re just playing as a team and playing simple,” Marleau said. “We’re putting pucks deep and playing hard on the forecheck. That’s it, that’s our recipe and we’ve got to keep doing that and we’ll have success.”

In net, Lukas Dostal stopped 23 of 24 shots to hold San Jose to one goal in each of his two starts against the Barracuda this season.

Jayden Halbgewachs is the key to San Jose’s attack. He enters tonight’s game riding a four-game point streak and continues to produce against San Diego, collecting four points (2-2=4) in the previous three meetings.

To replicate their success, Bouchard is preaching an internal focus on areas his team can improve.

“More of the same,” he said. “As much as we like to worry about the other team, we are always our worst enemy every morning, right? Look in the mirror. So, it’s about us, keep going and I know it’s demanding, I know it’s hard, but you’ve got to keep pushing together with a common goal and that’s what I think the guys have been doing.”

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