BAKERSFIELD, Ca. – It would take 124 minutes to decide a game-winner on Friday night as Maxime Comtois scored in the fourth overtime period to lift San Diego over Bakersfield, 3-2.
The game started quite bland, the teams playing slow and yet sound defensive. Yet another time this postseason, Shane Starrett and Jeff Glass were both solid, keeping their respective team in the game.
After the first period, San Diego held a narrow lead in shots, 7-5 while the game remained scoreless.
The second period was more of the same to begin. Bakersfield started to fall into their offensive system late in the period and was finally rewarded for it.
At 12:09 of the second period, the game saw its first goal of the game as Brad Malone scored his third of the playoffs, a shorthanded tally.
The Condors carried their lead into the third period, starting the period on the penalty kill.
San Diego capitalized on the powerplay, taking only 32 seconds in the third to tie the game. It was Justin Kloos who scored his second of the postseason, scoring after a bad turnover by the Condors.
Bakersfield handled the game well after the goal, keeping consistent composure. The Condors retook the lead four minutes later when Joe Gambardella scored on a wraparound that took some convincing but eventually snuck in.
Just 11 seconds later, San Diego scored a goal that will be talked about for years. After a missed tripping call, Ben Street found Sam Carrick alone in front of the net for the goal.
After this, the teams would stay scoreless for 80 minutes.
At the conclusion of regulation, Bakersfield held a close 28-25 lead in shots.
Starrett and Glass controlled the overtime periods, each making quality save after quality save. While each team had 2-4 decent chances per period, the keepers controlled the game.
Finally, 4:24 into the fourth overtime period, San Diego called game. Comtois found a puck off of Kevin Roy‘s stick and buried it behind Starrett.
The win gave the Gulls an important victory to take a 1-0 series lead. San Diego went 1-for-2 on the powerplay while Bakersfield was 0-for-2.
Glass earned the win, making 51 saves on 53 shots. Starrett received the loss after allowing three goals on 56 shots.
The two squads have a quick turnaround, facing one another in game two tonight in Bakersfield.