Gulls Take 2-0 Series Lead with 4-1 Win over CondorsMay 4, 2019
The Gulls defeated the Bakersfield Condors 4-1 at Rabobank Arena tonight to take a 2-0 series lead for the first time in club history. Isac Lundestrom and Adam Cracknell each recorded three points with a goal and two assists.
At 19 years and six months of age, Lundestrom became the youngest Gulls player to record three points in a postseason game while Cracknell’s three points pushed his point streak to four games (3-3=6). Max Comtois scored the game-winning goal for the second consecutive game following his four-overtime winner a night ago.
The Gulls have now won four straight road games to begin the postseason, the only AHL team to win four games to date in the postseason. Dating to the regular season, San Diego has earned points in 11 straight road games (4-0-2-0 regular season, 4-0 playoffs), in addition to 26 of their last 30 road contests (17-4-4-2 regular season, 4-0 playoffs).
“I think we’ve been doing it all year, it doesn’t matter where anyone is coming from,” said Adam Cracknell regarding the early production from Comtois and Lundestrom. “It’s great to have those guys, they’re obviously great players with bright futures ahead of them. It's great experience for them to be a part of this culture right now in playoff hockey. They’ve responded the last two games the way that we want them to and they should be proud of themselves.”
Late in the first period, the Gulls dumped the puck into the offensive zone, but Bakersfield rimmed the puck around the boards on an attempted a clear. Trevor Murphy stopped the puck at the point and his point shot was redirected by Kiefer Sherwood and past Condors goaltender Dylan Wells for the first goal of the game with 1:45 remaining in the opening frame. Sherwood’s goal marked the first time in the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs the Gulls have scored the first goal of the game.
There were two penalties in the first period, one going against each team. Max Jones was given a two-minute elbowing penalty and Braden Christoffer was flagged on a slashing minor. Both teams were given a chance on the power play and both were unable to convert. San Diego outshot Bakersfield 13-7 in the opening 20 minutes.
The second period picked up where the first had left off as the Gulls carried the momentum over the intermission and added to their lead 2:29 into the middle frame. Similar to Game 1 last night, a goal was the product of a hard forecheck as Isac Lundestrom broke up a play and stole the puck and threw it on net. The first shot was denied with a pad save, but Adam Cracknell took the rebound and slid it to Max Comtois in the slot. For the second consecutive night, Comtois found the back of the net and his goal would eventually stand up as the game winner.
Shortly after the goal by Comtois, Jake Dotchin was called for cross-checking, bringing the Condors power play out for the second time tonight. Once again, the Gulls penalty kill was successful and the Condors were unable to get on the board. This postseason, San Diego has been shorthanded on 16 occasions, allowing just two goals while adding a shorthanded goal.
Through two periods, the Gulls had shut down the Condors, limiting them to just 12 shots while adding 26 of their own.
“Well, it was really good, especially through two periods,” said head coach Dallas Eakins on the defensive effort. “We didn’t give up much, we were really closing quickly on them. We had great sticks and kept everything to the outside. They had a bit of a push there in the third period, but I thought we got our game back fairly quickly after they scored that goal.”
Bakersfield brought the puck into San Diego zone and circled the zone. Josh Currie collected the puck and threw it to Ethan Bear who fired a one-timer from the point and past Boyle to bring Bakersfield within one 5:44 into the final period. Ryan McLeod also picked up an assist on the play.
Midway through the third, Kevin Boyle was forced from the game after taking a knee to the head. Jeff Glass, who made 51 saves in a Game 1 win last night, relieved Boyle and took over as San Diego’s goaltender.
Just before the entering the final five minutes of the game, Jaycob Megna intercepted the puck in the neutral zone and passed to Cracknell. After taking the puck into the offensive zone, Cracknell dropped the puck back to Lundestrom who fired a shot on net. With 5:15 remaining in the game, the puck found its way past Wells’ glove and into the net for the score.
The Condors pulled their goaltender in an attempt to tie the game with time expiring, but Cracknell hit the open four-by-six to secure the win with 1:41 remaining on a distant shot from his own zone. Lundestrom picked up his second assist and third point on the night on the play.
Boyle stopped 19-of-20 shots in 48:12 to earn his first career playoff win. Jeff Glass stopped all eight shots in relief of Boyle, entering the game with 11:09 in the third period. Bakersfield’s goal at 5:44 of the third period ended San Diego’s shutout streak of 125:42 dating to the 4:22 mark of the third period in Game 1, a Gulls postseason record.
The series will shift to San Diego for Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday, May 8 (7 p.m.) and Friday, May 10 (7 p.m.) at Pechanga Arena San Diego.