Fought hard

Gulls Fall 3-2 in Close Condors Contest

Mar 27, 2024

By Morgan Korovec/    

The San Diego Gulls fought hard but were ultimately knocked off their flight path as they were grounded 3-2 by the Bakersfield Condors in a gritty match Wednesday night at Pechanga Arena San Diego. 

To kick off the opening frame, the Gulls made their presence known early as Robert Hagg sent the puck past Oliver Rodrigue at 2:11 to put San Diego on the board first.  

With around five minutes remaining in the first, the Condors’ Cameron Wright found the back of the net to even the score. Greg McKegg struck a minute later, handing Bakersfield the lead to end the period.  

Things got chippy on the ice to launch the middle frame. Neither team could spark any action in net until Sasha Pastujov made it interesting at 12:22, tying the score with his seventh goal of the season. 

At 15:03, Raphael Lavoie responded to restore the Condor’s one-goal advantage.  

Things stayed hot as the clock wound down to two minutes with Jaxsen Wiebe and Noel Hoefenmayer dropping gloves at center ice to set the tone for the final frame, but neither team could find the back of the net in the third. 

"I liked the way that we battled back, then to be able to go down four-on-three against a great power play like this, that ends up being the difference in the game," head coach Matt McIlvane said. "As far as being so far disconnected from the Calgary game, as far as what we want to execute, today was a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, we fell short."

Calle Clang was a solid shield in-net, stopping all but three of 27 shots on the night.  

Anthony Constantini, Chase De Leo, Nikita Nesterenko, and Josh Lopina each tallied an assist on the night. 

"Being on the road, I feel like it always brings the team together just a little bit more," Pastujov said. "Hanging out at the hotel, going out for meals, I think that’ll help us for sure, and I think that often times translates to the ice. We’re going to try to do that in Tucson this weekend and come away with four points."

After tonight, the Gulls get set for back-to-back battles with the Tucson Roadrunners beginning on Friday, Mar. 29 at Tucson Convention Center Arena (7 p.m. PST).

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