Fans got their money’s worth in San Diego’s first American Hockey League overtime/shootout contest as the Gulls downed the Condors, 6-5. The scoreless overtime period made way for a shootout goal by Ondrej Kase, giving the Gulls the victory in front of 8,788 fans at Valley View Casino Center.
John Gibson stopped 34-of-39 shots faced in game play but went 3-for-3 in the shootout, playing a big role in San Diego’s victory.
“I just have to do my job, stop the puck,” Gibson said. “I don’t think we’ve practice the shootout yet [this season]. My job is to keep the puck out of the net, that’s what I was able to do.”
San Diego opened scoring only 23 seconds into the first frame with a goal by Nick Ritchie, his third of the season. Michael Sgarbossa forced a turnover in the Bakersfield zone, making a pass to Left Wing Nick Ritchie who found the back of the net.
Bakersfield battled back with three straight goals from Mitch Moroz, Iiro Pakarinen and Bogdan Yakimov in the first to gain a 3-1 lead by the 15 minute mark but San Diego was determined to even the score before the intermission.
San Diego got within one with a second goal from the Ritchie, Sgarbossa, Friberg line, this time a goal by Friberg, assisted by Ritchie and Sgarbossa with 1:36 remaining in the first.
Just 17 seconds later, Ondrej Kase picked up an loose puck in front of the net, taking a shot and netting his own rebound to tie the game at three as the Gulls and Condors finished 20 minutes of play.
Bakersfield again took the lead, opening the second period with two quick goals, the first coming only 42 seconds in. Matthew Ford netted a power play goal, finding the puck on a rebound, with assists by Pakarinen and Hunt. Bakersfield’s fifth goal of the game came just 2:18 later, a wrist shot from the top of the circle by left wing Matthew Hamilton.
San Diego again battled back to even the score with goals by Antoine Laganiere and Harry Zolnierczyk.
With five goals apiece in the first 36 minutes of play, both teams buckled down defensively, going the final 24 minutes and the entire overtime frame scoreless, and sending the game to a shootout.
Ondrej Kase, the first shooter of the 3-on-3 shootout, netted a backhander, the lone shootout goal, giving San Diego the victory. John Gibson stopped three straight to clinch the win.
“I think we played very well in some areas” said Head Coach Dallas Eakins. “It certainly was a roller coaster ride for both teams.
“Those are great games for the fans,” he continued.
San Diego hits the road for 3-games in four days starting Wednesday, Oct. 21 in San Jose. The Gulls return home for Halloween weekend with contests on Oct. 30 and 31.