Top 10 Moments: Gawdin's Hat TrickMay 8, 2023
By AJ Manderichio/SanDiegoGulls.com
With the 2022-23 season in the books, SanDiegoGulls.com looks back at some of the biggest moments, from individual highlights to impressive theme nights and more. Today we continue our Top-10 Moments series, spotlighting Glenn Gawdin’s hat trick against the Grand Rapids Griffins.
A San Diego and Grand Rapids matchup during the 2022-23 season guaranteed plenty of offense.
In the four matchups between the Western Conference foes, the Gulls and Griffins combined for 39 goals, with the teams splitting the four-game season series. The final meeting of the season, on Nov. 19 at Pechanga Arena San Diego, capped the season series with an incredible individual performance that remains one of the highlights from the season.
Coming off a win the night before, Grand Rapids opened the scoring in the Saturday night matchup, firing home a power-play goal before the five-minute mark of regulation.
Glenn Gawdin made sure that lead wouldn’t stick.
The center tallied his first goal of the night, splitting the defense and converting on a breakaway chance at the nine-minute mark of the opening frame. Hunter Drew grabbed the loose puck at center ice and quickly turned, finding Gawdin racing toward the blue line with a soft pass. The center did the rest, shielding the puck from the oncoming Griffin before sliding a backhand shot through the legs of a sliding Victor Brattstrom.
Gawdin, who saw his team take a 2-1 lead into the middle frame, extended the advantage early in the second. Olli Juolevi hit him with a breakout pass at center ice, and Gawdin methodically carried it through the neutral zone. With Grand Rapids backing off, he carried the puck into the offensive zone and to the top of the circles. His wrist shot zipped past the outstretched glove of Brattstrom, giving Gawdin his second goal of the night.
San Diego’s offense continued its relentless attack, grabbing a 4-1 lead with just over 10 minutes to play in regulation. With the team’s skating 4-on-4 – and with over seven minutes left in the game - Grand Rapids made the bold move to pull the goaltender, looking to climb their way back into the matchup. Gawdin made them pay the price, finishing off his three-goal night with an empty-net tally.
Following a missed shot in the defensive zone, the Gulls pushed the pace. Rocco Grimaldi collected the loose puck at the side boards and feathered a pass to Gawdin, who found himself all alone at center ice. He skated the puck in all alone, scooping a shot from the slot into the net as the Gulls fans rose to celebrate the achievement.
It marked Gawdin’s first hat trick as a Gull and the second of his AHL career (last: Dec. 7, 2021 w/ Stockton against San Jose). In addition, it was San Diego’s first home hat trick of the 2022-23 regular season (last: Alex Limoges vs Tucson on Mar. 23, 2022).
After the game, Gawdin made sure to give the credit to his teammates for his personal success.
"Yeah, it obviously feels good," he said following the win. "It always feels good to contribute. I think I've kind of lacked the offense in the last few games, so it's nice to get rewarded tonight. You know, credit to the guys I was playing with for setting me up. You know, a lot of credit for them."
The Richmond, British Columbia native would close the season with 17-16=33 points in 57 games with the Gulls. Among those who skated in 40-or-more games with San Diego, Gawdin ranked second in goals, fifth in assists and second in power-play goals (7).