Gulls Hockey: San Diego’s new hot ticket is the coolest game aro - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Gulls Hockey: San Diego’s new hot ticket is the coolest game around

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – With the Chargers gone, sports enthusiasts have found a new team to rally behind – the San Diego Gulls.

When the Chargers announced they were leaving, the Gulls swooped in and the fan base grew by 20 percent last season.

This year, the team is hoping to go deeper in the playoffs and they want more San Diegans along for the ride.

Coach Dallas Eakins is hoping to build off last year’s success when the Gulls advanced to the Pacific Division Finals of the Calder Cup playoffs.

“A city has lost a franchise here, and I think it’s our responsibility to fill the void. I’d like to see us play more playoff hockey. We’ve got to develop players to go on to the Anaheim Ducks, and we need to win hockey games,” he said.

The average Gulls’ attendance prior to the Chargers announcing their departure was around 8,000 fans per game.

After the Bolts decided to bolt to Los Angeles, the Gulls finished the season with an average of 10,000 fans a game. On weekends, several thousand more rowdy fans would show up.

“It’s great to go to rink every night, and you have 10 to 12 thousand people there on a Friday night,” said Gulls’ Assistant Coach, Marty Wilford.

Escondido native Austin Ortega played six games for the Gulls last season and he just signed a contract to be on this year’s roster.

“Who knows where it will take me? But just worrying about playing my game and having fun,” he said.

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