December 11, 2015
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Ben Scrivens stopped 31 shots faced for his first win and first shutout of the season, and the Bakersfield Condors rode their goalie’s hot performance to their second straight win over the San Diego Gulls, a 3-0 decision in front of 5,561 at Rabobank Arena.
Ryan Hamilton, Matthew Ford and Joey LaLeggia scored for Bakersfield (10-9-1-1), who leapfrogged the Gulls in the AHL Pacific Division standings. After a 9-2-0-0 start to the season, San Diego (11-10-0-1) has dropped nine of their last 11 games.
Both teams joined a physical battle in the game’s opening ten minutes, which featured big fore-checks and a spirited scrap between San Diego’s Brian McGrattan and Bakersfield’s Kale Kessy.
San Diego killed the extra two-minute charging penalty on McGrattan and held the line scoreless until a blind pass in the neutral zone wound up costing the Gulls the game’s first goal. Condors captain Ryan Hamilton picked up the slowly paced puck and wove inside the blue line, where he carried the puck for a slap shot, beating Ryan Faragher low and inside the far post for his seventh goal of the year and the 1-0 lead at 12:55.
Trailing 1-0 to start the second period, the Gulls were given a pair of early power plays for Condors high-sticking penalties. Ranked second in the AHL in power play efficiency coming into the night, San Diego saw their strength turned against them, as the Condors picked up a short-handed rush from Matthew Ford with under nine minutes remaining. While Faragher stopped his first shot, the rebound was left in between two defensemen in the slot, and Ford spun back from the far corner, pounced upon the loose puck and snapped home a point-blank shot for his ninth goal of the season and a 2-0 advantage.
The Gulls controlled much of the remaining time in the second period but failed convert, trailing 2-0 after forty minutes of play. In the third, Joey LaLeggia finished off an extended round of pressure in the offensive zone with a rebound goal, his first of the season to set the final score line at 12:14, on assists from Greg Chase and Dillon Simpson. San Diego out-shot Bakersfield 31-26, but fell to 0-3 at Rabobank Arena, suffering a shutout for the second time in those three games.
The Gulls travel to San Jose to battle the Barracuda next at 1:30pm on Saturday afternoon from SAP Center.