The San Diego Gulls have clinched a playoff spot in their inaugural season in “Americas Finest City”, and its all smiles from the front office who have helped the San Diego Gulls set attendance records and revenue records. The fans have also recently amassed enough votes to make Gulliver the mascot of the year in the Mascot Madness Contest, so there are A LOT of reasons to head on out to Gulls games as we close out the season.
The Gulls are most likely to finish the regular season in the number two seed in the Pacific Division, meaning they would have home ice advantage for the first series (a 5 game series) most likely against the Texas Stars. Having that said, it is important to note the Texas has been one of the best offensive teams in the league this year, and have made the Gulls look silly at times, beating us 5 out of the 6 times we have faced them. However, as the year has progressed, the Stars have gotten weaker, while the Gulls have rejuvenated and are looking much like they did in the beginning of the season, only with more ATO (amateur-try-out) players in the lineup.
We have our veteran bruisers in Bickel, O’Brien, and McGrattan, the teams hottest scorer as of late in Chris Mueller, All-Star Nick Ritchie has returned from his time up in Anaheim as has defensemen Shea Theodore. Brandon Montour, recently honored by The AHL as a member of the First AHL All-Star Team and the AHL’s All Rookie team, is also still playing strong in his offensive-defenseive role. The one area that can be a cause of concern is in net, as Anton Khudobin has returned to the Ducks as F. Andersen has a concussion, but is now day to day so his return before the playoffs is likely. Nevertheless; Captain Joe Piskula and Dallas Eakins have done a great job at helping this team grow from a near last place finish last year in Norfolk to a successful team. Note also that players may be called up in this last week by the Ducks, but those moves are surely temporary as the Ducks look to protects all of their players, as they, and the lower ECHL affiliate the Utah Grizzlies have also clinched a playoff spot.
The Gulls currently sit in second place of the Pacific (with no chance to steal first from Ontario), but need to do fairly well to clinch home-ice advantage in their remaining four games: 4/9: @Stockton Heat, 4/10 @ Stockton Heat, 4/15 vs Ontario, 4/16 vs Ontario. Be sure to score discount tickets for the last two games here: http://www.sandiegogulls.com/tickets/group-thank-you-brian/ . In addition, fans are getting together for their final planned watch party of the regular season today, April 9th, at 7:30pm at Rockin’ Baja Lobster in Old Town, so be sure to come to watch a winning team and enjoy $2 beer specials from the Gulls sponsor.
While we do not have guaranteed playoff dates, we do know that there is at least one guaranteed home game, possibly a maximum of three if the team/office elects to feel that the series will last all 5 games. Playoff tickets are now on sale on AXS and they are the best value for your sports dollar in town: http://www.axs.com/events/309265/san-diego-gulls-tickets Hope to see everyone at the games as we look to go deep into the Calder Cup Playoffs! Go Gulls! For more info, visit http://www.sandiegogulls.com or check out the Gulls social media pages @SDGullsAHL.
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