The 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs are around the corner and the San Diego Gulls are gearing up for a hopeful deep run in the post-season.
The Gulls are set to kick-off their first round playoff run tomorrow night, where they will face the Pacific Division's second-placed team away, Ontario Reign.
Despite the recent losing streak toward the end of the season, the Gulls feel that they may be able to come to full circle at the right time of the year.
San Diego dealt with injuries along the way, but they are now returning to the ice at the right time of the year, according to Gulls forward Hunter Drew.
"Yeah, I think this is a good time for us," Gulls forward Hunter Drew said. "Like you said, everyone is coming back and everyone is starting to get healthy at the right time. I think, well not just me, we all think we can beat Ontario and we’re not scared to play them or worried about who they have. We have a good lineup and a good crew here that can go deep here."
Gulls head coach Joel Bouchard is looking forward to their first playoff round against Ontario Reign, who were able to secure the second seed in the Pacific Division with 41 regular season victories.
"Well, there’s no secret that they’re a good team, obviously," Gulls head coach Joel Bouchard said about Ontario. "The thing with the AHL, the line-up will change so much that you face them through the season you look at some clips that the player they used to have or they didn’t have and now they have back from the NHL and same thing with us. So, it’s just a matter of combination of preparing yourself to do what you have to do and making sure you’re aware of a good team on the other bench and that you have to be task-oriented on what they do because they’re good."
Coach Bouchard says that the team looks forward to going toe-to-toe with the second-seeded playoff contender in Ontario, after not being able to fully experience the playoffs due to COVID-19 in recent years.
"We’re going to be on our toes and play, so there was a combination of both today. Like you said, the guys I think are anxious. Playoffs are fun – that’s what you get to play for and at the end of the day, we didn’t really get playoffs the last few years because of COVID with most of the players and the staff. It’s fun to see it again."
The Gulls-Reign first-round playoff round goes as followed:
Game 1 – San Diego at Ontario – Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. (Round 1 – Game A)
Game 2 – San Diego at Ontario – Thursday, May 5 at 7 p.m. (Round 1 – Game B)
Game 3* – San Diego at Ontario – Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m. (Round 1 – Game C)