Nov. 24, 2017

Nick Ellis stopped 41 of the 42 shots he faced and held the fort during a furious third period comeback attempt, as the Bakersfield Condors (6-8-2-0) scored a 4-1 victory at the expense of the San Diego Gulls at Valley View Casino Center. A crowd of 8,275 saw the Gulls (7-9-1-0) levy a season-high in shots, only to fall to defeat in the first of the eight-game season series against Bakersfield.

Kyle Platzer scored a goal and added an assist, and Brad Malone added a pair of helpers for Bakersfield on two second period power play goals, as the Condors snapped a six-game losing streak (0-4-2).

“It’s hard not getting the points, but I was encouraged with the way we played,” said Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins. “I thought we were the dominant team, our power play was excellent, and it was the first time we had a ton of 5-on-5 chances. If we can play like that every night, we’ll come out on top.”

The Gulls came out with pep in the first period, delivering five of the first six shots on net. While Ellis was up to the task early, San Diego finished the period outshooting their opponent 13-10.

The middle minutes of the opening frame saw Bakersfield grab the lead, courtesy of a brilliant individual play by Condors captain Ryan Hamilton. Stealing a loose puck outside center circle, Hamilton used an inside-out move twice to burn two San Diego defenders consecutively. A forehand-backhand deke allowed Hamilton to beat Reto Berra at 12:34 for a 1-0 lead the Condors would never relinquish.

The second period was all about special teams play. A pair of back-to-back power play goals by Bakersfield extended the lead, while a back-to-back power play opportunities for San Diego came up empty. The Condors’ Kyle Platzer scored his second of the year from Brad Malone at 8:50 of the frame, while Josh Currie’s fourth of the season from Platzer and Malone at 10:39 extended the advantage.

The Gulls’ dream of a third period comeback gained steam at 5:49 of the stanza, when Kalle Kossila pushed home a power play goal after a furious scramble in front of the net. Spencer Abbott and Mitch Hults tallied assists on the goal, San Diego’s league-leading 23rd power play tally of the season.

San Diego kept up the pressure throughout the final period, and pulled their goalie with just over 3:00 left to try and find a second score. The Condors held off the Gulls pressure for almost ninety seconds before Mitch Callahan’s empty-net goal sealed the scoring.

The Gulls next begin a five-game road trip with a Sunday afternoon matinee in San Jose against the Barracuda. The faceoff from SAP Center is scheduled for 3pm on ESPN 1700-AM.

Three Stars:
1. Ryan Ellis (BAK)
2. Kyle Platzer (BAK)
3. Brad Malone (BAK)