Bakersfield, Calif. – Nic Kerdiles and Ryan White each recorded a goal and an assist in support of Kevin Boyle’s (11-9-1) 34-save effort to propel San Diego to a 4-2 win over the Bakersfield Condors at Rabobank Arena for the club’s ninth win in their last 12 road games (9-3-0-0). The Gulls (22-17-1-0, 45 pts, .563 win %) were victorious on a night when Corey Tropp recorded an assist for the 89th point in his San Diego career which has spanned parts of three seasons. This would tie Tropp for the franchise’s all-time record for points set by current Anaheim Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour. The back-to-back wins over Bakersfield (17-17-7-1, 42 pts, .500 win %) marked the first sweep of such a set where both games were played on the road versus the same team this season by the Gulls and will send the team off on a high note heading into the All-Star break.
“Tonight I think we just didn’t let up throughout the whole game,” Boyle said. “We hunkered down and it’s nice to go into the All-Star break with two big points.”
San Diego got off to a flying start just 33 seconds into the game when Nic Kerdiles, the hero of a night ago stole a puck below the left circle away from a Bakersfield defender and found linemate Ryan White cruising through the slot. Kerdiles was deftly able to spin away from his pursuer and slide the puck to White who beat Condors goalie Laurent Brossoit (3-3-2) for his third goal of the season.
“I went behind the net and they coughed up the puck,” Kerdiles said after the game. “I got it and threw it backdoor to White coming in and it worked out to be a good goal.”
White would be a factor again just over three minutes later when he was the recipient of Giovanni Fiore’s cross-ice pass. White’s shot generated a rebound that Fiore was able to collect after crashing the net, potting his 11th goal while putting San Diego ahead 2-0 just 3:44 into the contest. White’s assist marked his second multi-point game as a Gull.
The lead extended to 3-0 at the 13:09 mark when Eric Fehr deposited Dennis Rasmussen’s twister pass from behind the net. The goal was Fehr’s team-league 13th, all the more impressive when considering that he did make his debut with the team until Nov. 17th. Also getting on the scoresheet with an assist was defenseman Andy Welinski, who is headed to the AHL All-Star Classic in Utica, New York to represent San Diego on Sunday and Monday.
After a strong start to the second period with numerous chances for the Gulls, a failed defensive zone exit wound up on the stick of Condors right wing David Gust in the slot who then beat Boyle to the blocker side, cutting the San Diego lead to 3-1 at the 11 minute mark. The Gulls were the recipients of a strong late-period penalty kill which enabled them to take a two-goal lead into the third period.
Much as they did in the first period, the Gulls opened the third period with a furious start. Kerdiles would swat home a rebound for his eighth goal of the year to boost San Diego’s lead to 4-1 at 1:29. The speedy winger now has 14 points (7G/7A) in his last 18 games. The play was the result of a power-move by Corey Tropp who drove the puck to the net for the initial shot. His assist on the play gave him his 89th point (36G/53A) as a member of the Gulls, tying the aforementioned franchise record set by Montour. Steven Oleksy also tallied an assist on the play, his second on the night, giving the defenseman his second multi-point game as a Gull and first two assist effort of the season.
A long Bakersfield shift that hemmed the Gulls in their own defensive zone for an extended period of time resulted in an unfortunate bounce for San Diego when Condors right wing Patrick Russell bounced a puck off of Alex Dostie’s skate into the net. The goal brought Bakersfield back within two at 13:06 and spurred thoughts of a comeback. However, the strong play of Boyle as well as the heroic shot-blocking efforts of Gulls forwards and defensemen alike held the Condors in check for the duration of the game. For Boyle, the Manalapan, New Jersey native now has a 7-1-0 mark in his last eight appearances in net.
“All the credit goes to the guys in front of me,” Boyle added. “The defense were boxing out and letting me see the puck and the forwards were doing a great job of backchecking and blocking shots and getting their sticks in lanes and everything.”
1. SD – N. Kerdiles
2. SD – R. White
3. BAK – D. Gust