On the final day of the season in 2018 the Gulls lost to the Roadrunners and were eliminated from Calder Cup playoff contention.
On the final day of the season in 2019 the exact opposite happened.
San Diego topped Tucson 4-3 to earn the 3rd seed in the opening round of the post-season and a date with the San Jose Barracuda. The Gulls already knew they were in the playoffs but with the win they avoided the Pacific Division champs in Bakersfield until at least the 2nd round.
Oh, and there's that little matter of payback, too.
"It’s amazing how that works out," said Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins. "I don’t if it’s a karma thing or what that is. Coming into this arena at this time of the season and quietly, myself, reliving what went on here last year. As I’m talking to you, I can hear all of our fans that were here that were loud and proud in this arena tonight."
Sam Carrick scored his franchise record 32nd goal of the season in the win. In an American Hockey League scheduling quirk the Gulls, who are the lower seed, get to host the first two games against the Barracuda (a team they went 6-4 against this season). The full best-of-five series schedule looks like this:
(All games start at 7:00 p.m.)
Game 1 = Wednesday, 4/17 vs. San Jose
Game 2 = Thursday, 4/18 vs. San Jose
Game 3 = Monday, 4/22 at San Jose
Game 4 = Wednesday, 4/24 at San Jose*
Game 5 = Thursday, 4/25 at San Jose*
(* = if necessary)
Playoff tickets go on sale on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. in San Diego. To get tickets you can visit www.SanDiegoGulls.com/playoffs or call 844-GO-GULLS. Or if you like a more personal touch you can go to the Pechanga Arena box office and get tickets starting at 1:00 p.m.