February 10, 2016
SAN DIEGO – Rob Klinkhammer’s second goal of the game snapped a 2-2 tie with 3:48 remaining in the third period, and the Bakersfield Condors (21-18-2-2) added an empty netter to beat the San Diego Gulls 4-2 at Valley View Casino Center. A crowd of 5,543 saw a tense game end with the Condors’ third consecutive win overall, and fourth straight against San Diego this season.
The Gulls (21-19-1-1) battled back from a 2-0 deficit after twenty minutes to tie the game with goals by Antoine Laganiere and Chris Mueller, only to see the Condors emerge with the victory, San Diego’s sixth loss in their last eight home games. The results around the AHL Pacific Division cause San Diego to drop from third to fifth place in the standings, falling behind Bakersfield and San Jose.
Coming off a 7-3 win the night before over Stockton, the Condors carried their momentum into the first period, quickly building a lead. Brad Hunt’s slap shot from outside the left circle, after a Gulls turnover at neutral ice, smacked the glove of San Diego goalie Anton Khudobin but popped out, trickling slowly over the goal line for a 1-0 Bakersfield lead just 54 seconds into the game.
The Condors doubled their advantage at the 10:50 mark of the period when Klinkhammer was sprung between the circles on perfect feeds from Nikita Nikitin and Andrew Miller, beating Khudobin stick side for a 2-0 advantage. Klinkhammer has six goals in seven games since being assigned to the AHL from the Condors’ NHL parent club, Edmonton.
San Diego opened the second period on a power play, and while the team did not convert, it was during sustained pressure as the Condors were regaining full strength that the Gulls found the back of the net. Michael Sgarbossa’s backhand shot from left wing was saved by Condors’ net-minder Eetu Laurikainen, but Laganiere found the rebound, played it off the back dashers to his stick and then into the far side netting for the Gulls’ first goal of the night at 1:43.
Shortly thereafter, San Diego took advantage of a poor line change by Bakersfield. Brandon Montour’s stretch pass from the defensive zone connected to Mueller camped at the opposite blue line, and his diving shot under pressure snuck past Laurikainen’s right pad for the game’s equalizer at 6:33 of the second.
For the remainder of the game, Khudobin found himself in a Condors shooting gallery, facing a total of 35 shots over the final two periods. The veteran goalie kept San Diego in the game, as the Gulls faded a pair of 5-on-3 disadvantages prior to Klinkhammer’s game winner.
The Gulls embark on a road trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, battling the Charlotte Checkers on Friday and Saturday night from Bojangles Coliseum.
NOTES: The Condors have beaten the Gulls in four straight meetings, taking an 11-4 points lead in the season series…San Diego continued their trend of turning the game’s first goal into the night’s result, falling to 5-19-1-0 when conceding first…Brandon Montour collected a pair of assists for the Gulls, his team leading 34th and 35th points…Andrew Miller collected two assists for Bakersfield…Khudobin’s 40 saves were a season best.
1st Star: BAK Rob Klinkhammer (2-0=2, GWG); 2nd Star: SD Chris Mueller (1-0=1); 3rd Star: BAK Andrew Miller (0-2=2)