December 27, 2015
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Matthew Ford and Andrew Miller each recorded a goal with two assists as the Bakersfield Condors skated past the San Diego Gulls 4-1 at Rabobank Arena, ending a Gulls four-game winning streak. The Condors (13-11-2-1) improved to 4-0 on home ice against San Diego.
A fight-filled third period saw the Gulls whistled for 62 of their 70 penalty minutes on the night, with the Condors adding another 33 of their own for a 95 PIM period. San Diego (15-11-0-1) saw Brian McGrattan, Tim Jackman and Joseph Cramarossa all receive game misconduct penalties during the final five minutes of the period, which ended with all the remaining skaters squaring off for the teams’ second line brawl of the season.
The game started on a far less contentious but equally tense note, as the two teams skated through the first and much of the second period without a goal. The Gulls, who entered the night with the AHL’s top power play unit, were unable to convert on a pair of early man advantages in the game’s opening five minutes. Bakersfield failed to capitalize on a four-minute high sticking penalty midway through the second, and the scoreless battle continued.
The Condors would be the first to break the seal, with Ford finishing off the rebound of Ryan Hamilton’s shot at 18:06 of the second period for a 1-0 lead, triggering a charity toss of undergarments, from the crowd of 4,233, onto the ice. The “Sock Toss Sunday” collection of socks, underwear and diapers will be distributed to Bakersfield’s homeless shelters.
Less than a minute later, Bakersfield doubled their advantage when Hamilton received a pass to send him into the zone against Gulls goalie Matt Hackett. Hamilton’s initial shot came off the pads of Hackett and back to the blade of his stick for a clean rebound goal and a 2-0 lead at 19:02, a lead the Condors would carry into the locker room.
The third began on an auspicious note for San Diego. Mike Sgarbossa’s sixth goal of the season, on assists from Brandon Montour and Stefan Noesen, drew the Gulls to within a goal at 3:26. San Diego would have a power-play opportunity to tie the game after a Ford slashing penalty at 5:12, but could not best Condors goalie Laurent Brossoit, who made 27 saves for the victory.
David Musil’s goal as the trailer on a Condors three-on-two rush put Bakersfield ahead 3-1 just after the halfway mark of the third period. Miller capped the scoring on the power play at 13:03, finishing his seventh goal of the year with a wrist shot from the right circle.
While the Gulls and Condors combined for 113 penalty minutes on the game, their total fell short of the teams’ season record of 141 combined penalty minutes on October 24, also in Bakersfield. The Condors have enjoyed their meetings on home ice with the Gulls, building out a 16-5 goals advantage at Rabobank Arena.
San Diego continues a four-game road trip to close out the calendar year and open up 2016 when they travel to Austin, TX to take on the Texas Stars on New Year’s Eve.