PREVIEW: Gulls to host Henderson Silver Knights for the first time in San Diego
November 10, 2021
By Paige Burnell / SanDiegoGulls.com
The Henderson Silver Knights are coming to town, but it’s the San Diego Gulls who plan to defend their castle in their first game of the season against the Silver Knights tonight at 7 p.m. PT (TV: AHL TV; RADIO: Gulls Audio Network).
The Gulls did not fare well against newcomer Silver Knights last season with an overall record of 1-4-1-0. This season, the Gulls are 2-5-0-0 before facing the Silver Knights and are currently ninth in the AHL Pacific Division. The Silver Knights are off to a respectable 5-3-1-0 start to the season, placing them third in the Pacific Division and fourth in the Western Conference.
The Gulls are going to use their own defensive systems to get the results they want against the Silver Knights at both ends of the ice.
“When we’re tight against the other team and we close quickly, I think that’s when we have a lot of success,” said Greg Pateryn. “A lot of our offensive opportunities are going to start playing well in the D zone and I think the more we improve, the more opportunities we have at the other end.”
In the Gull’s most recent game, Nov.6 against the Colorado Eagles, the team rallied late and scored two unanswered goals to turn what was a 3-0 shutout into a one-goal game. .
“I thought the second game, especially against Colorado, we had ten minutes where we kind of stopped playing a little bit and we were watching more,” said assistant coach Max Talbot. “So I would like us to have a 60 minute effort from start to finish and commit to doing the right thing, the same things and seeing where it goes.”
Nikolas Brouillard scored his first goal of the season on the outing, while Brayden Tracey got his third assist in four games (1-3 = 4) to maintain his four-game streak with a point, a high in career.
Jacob Perreault also played a major role in the near comeback as he restarted the Gulls’ power play with his third goal of the season. He currently leads a four-game scoring streak (2-4 = 6) and beats San Diego with 3-5 = 8 points this season. Perreault has also scored a point in every home game this season (1-2 = 3).
The Gulls broke their five-game power-play streak on Friday, November 5 against the Bakersfield Condors, but picked up where they left off the next day with Perreault’s power-play goal.
“Even if you don’t get a goal, just take the momentum in the game and really use it to your advantage,” Pateryn said. “I think we did a good job getting shots and chances, and the team on their heels a bit. So I think we continue with that and the pucks will start to come in. ”
Currently, the Gull’s power play is ranked fourth in the AHL with a success rate of 27.6%, while the Silver Knights’ power play is ranked ninth at 23.8%.
However, in the case of the Silver Knights, these numbers are very misleading.
In their most recent games against the Tucson Roadrunners, in which they won by scores of 3-0, 3-2, the Silver Knights have scored four power-play goals on 10 occasions for a 40% success rate. .
Sven Bärtschi is responsible for two of those power play goals, including one in overtime in the Silver Knight’s 3-2 win over the Roadrunners on November 6.
Lucas Elvenes had an assist on that goal in addition to scoring a power play goal on November 5 in the Silver Knights’ final 3-0 shutout against the Roadrunners.
Despite the outcome of the Silver Knights’ last games, the Gulls are focused on their own game and following the systems they have put in place.
“I think we’re focusing a lot on what we need to do and looking at the other team’s tendencies,” Pateryn said. “While, at the same time, we have to play in our structure and play on our strengths and do what we do well. Ultimately, if we do this, we will come out with a victory. ”
That principle even applies to Silver Knights star goalie Logan Thompson.
In his rookie season last year, Thompson received the Baz Bastien award for best AHL goaltender and led the league with a .943 save percentage (SV%). In addition, he was named to the AHL All-Star Team and the Pacific Division All-Star Team.
In seven games played this season, he is 4-2-1-0 with a goals against average of 0.914% and 3.06 goals against (GAA)
The Gulls certainly have work ahead of them as their schedule intensifies starting Wednesday against the Silver Knights for the first of three games in four nights.
“For me, a good team is a team that is pushing all in the same direction and they know what they’re doing and they’re on the same page,” said Talbot. “So you know you look at last weekend and we had a big win and the second game we came back in a game and the scoring chances against are much better than they were at the start of year. We are seeing some improvement and we must continue to do so. ”