Stepping into the Poway Ice Arena for Gulls practice is an interesting experience. The Gulls are at the end of an incredible inaugural season and they’re preparing for their first Calder Cup Playoff run.
This team is a mixed bag of talent with seasoned players leading the way for the rookies, yet they all seem to gel on the ice.
The atmosphere at Gulls practice is cold and intense. The team still has two regular season games and they only need to score one point to secure home ice for the playoffs.
Even though their playoff spot is locked down and they know they’re playing the Texas Stars in round one, the Gulls players are preparing for the next game ahead. Every single game counts in their book, and that mentality has added to their success this year. Head Coach Dallas Eakins has full confidence in this team saying, “They’re a group that refuses to go away in games and to give up. They’ve had a great work ethic all year and they’ve been very focused. It enabled us to secure that playoff that we dearly wanted.“
Focus, skill and strong leadership bode well for this team; but there’s one more element they all agree is crucial in their success: the fans. Rookie defenseman Brandon Montour thinks back at every home game this past season and appreciates the love from the fans: “All year it’s been really great for our team and we’re always excited to play in front of them. The fan base we have here has been incredible.”
The San Diego Gulls play their final regular season games against the Ontario Reign this Friday and Saturday at the Valley View Casino Center. Round one of the Calder Cup playoffs will be against the Texas stars. The series will begin next Thursday, Apr. 21st.