Jan 25, 2023
By AJ Manderichio/SanDiegoGulls.com
The San Diego Gulls open a four-game homestand tonight, hosting the rival Bakersfield Condors at Pechanga Arena San Diego (7 p.m. PT; TV: AHL TV; RADIO: Gulls Audio Network). The week-plus home stretch matches a season-high for the Gulls, who last played three-or-more consecutive home games from Nov. 18-Nov. 26.
“It’s nice to not be on the road and it’s nice to be back at Pechanga,” Gulls left wing Pavol Regenda said. “I’m really excited about it. I think everybody is going to everything to succeed, to win, and hopefully we can make good games for fans also.”
San Diego (11-29-0-0) enters tonight searching for their first win over Bakersfield (14-20-2-1). The Condors won all three previous meetings on Jan. 18 (5-1), Nov. 11 (2-0) and Nov. 2 (3-2). Pavol Regenda paces the Gulls with two goals against the Condors, while Carter Savoie leads the Condors in goals against the Gulls after posting a hat trick (3-0=3) on Jan. 18. Michael Kesselring (2-1=3) and Xavier Bourgault (0-3=3) are tied with Savoie for the most points earned against San Diego in 2022-23. In addition, 11 of the 13 goals scored in the season series so far have come in the third period, with the remaining two first-period goals tallies by Bakersfield on Jan. 18.
“We haven’t generated a lot of offense against Bakersfield so far this year,” Gulls assistant coach Kris Sparre said. “They’ve done a good job of shutting us down five versus five, so I think that’s going to be a main focal point for us on how we can create a little bit more volume at their net, create a few more scoring chances for us, because you gotta score to win. We haven’t scored enough against them. That’ll be certainly a focus for us.”
The Gulls carry a five-game losing streak into the contest, a stretch including Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Coachella Valley Firebirds. In their first visit to the new Acrisure Arena, Regenda and Glenn Gawdin scored to give the Gulls a one-goal lead heading into the final frame. The Firebirds would respond, turning the deficit into a win with three final-frame tallies.
“I think everybody know(s) that Coachella (Valley) is a really good team,” Regenda said. “They’re really good, they’re really hard to play against. I mean, we played the first two periods good, we were winning. We did a few mistakes and they’re an experienced team. They scored those goals and it was hard to get back.”
The Gulls are looking to…