Win Or Go Home

Gulls, Condors Meet In Do-Or-Die Game 3

May 24, 2021

It's win or go home for both the San Diego Gulls and Bakersfield Condors tonight.

The Pacific Division rivals meet in Game 3 of their semifinals series tonight at Mechanics Bank Arena (6 p.m. PT; TV: AHL TV, RADIO: Gulls Audio Network). The best-of-three series is tied at one.

Bakersfield evened the series with a 3-2 overtime win last night. San Diego led 2-1 in the third period, but a late tying goal by Luke Esposito forced overtime, and Seth Griffith scored the game-winner less than a minute into the extra session.

“We want to get pucks deep and we had the opportunity right there at the offensive blue line. We tried to make a little better play than we needed at that time and it ended up in our net. Those are the kinds of things you want to get out of your system, those little details that make a difference in the end.

San Diego is 1-0 all-time in elimination games, defeating Ontario in a decisive Game 5 of the First Round of the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Gulls are 5-2 all-time in Game 3’s.

“We’ve got less than 24 hours and we know we’ve got our hands full,” Dineen said. “It’s been a very competitive series. That’s the way it is. Both teams have played a lot of hockey the last three days. We just put the skates on and get right back at it here.”

The winner will move on to meet the Henderson Silver Knights in the Pacific Division Finals. Henderson swept San Jose in its semifinals matchup.

With young players up and down the San Diego playoff roster, several Gulls recorded their first career American Hockey League postseason points. Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale kicked off the series with an explosive Game 1. Zegras matched the club record for points in a playoff game (1-2=3) in his AHL postseason debut, while Zegras and Drysdale equaled the franchise mark for assists by a rookie in a single playoff contest.

Rookies Benoit-Olivier Groulx (1-0=1), Axel Andersson (0-1=1), Alex Limoges (0-1=1) and Nikolas Brouillard (0-1=1) notched their first career postseason points in Game 2.

Lukas Dostal has stopped 73-of-79 Bakersfield shots in his first two AHL playoff starts, posting a 2.99 GAA and .924 SV%.

Griffth, the overtime hero, enters tonight's game tied with Sam Carrick for the series lead with two goals. While San Diego continues to control Bakersfield's dynamic duo of Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody, role players like Adam Cracknell (0-3=3) stepped up to produce offensively.

Stuart Skinner, one of the AHL's best regular-season netminders, enters tonight with a 3.06 GAA and .905 SV%.

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