SAN DIEGO, Ca. – Facing elimination for the second straight game, the Condors needed a solid defensive effort with the goal support they had throughout most of the regular season. It was Kalle Kossila and the Gulls who brought the fire in game six, as San Diego defeated Bakersfield 6-2, ending their historic season.
It took 46 seconds for San Diego to strike, catching the Condors on a line change. Chase De Leo threaded through multiple Bakersfield defenders, beating Stuart Skinner between the legs.
Bakersfield answered four minutes later when Brad Malone scored his fifth of the playoffs, a powerplay goal after receiving the puck directly in front of Jeff Glass.
With 10:00 left in the first, Kossila scored off a forced Bakersfield turnover. After carrying it into the slot, he fired a shot past Skinner.
Kossila and the Gulls were not done yet, as he added a second goal with just under three minutes remaining in the first. While on the powerplay, Kossila skated the puck nearly to the goal line ten feet to Skinner’s right side and fired a puck top shelf over Skinner’s shoulder.
The third goal would be Skinner’s last faced shot, as Shane Starrett entered the game to take over goaltending duties.
Once again this series, the Condors entered an intermission playing from behind. Despite being down on the scoreboard, the Condors held a slight shot advantage, 9-8.
The Condors controlled the beginning of the second period well, putting quality shots on goal and receiving consistency from Starrett behind the defense.
At 4:29 in the second, Evan Bouchard continued his solid offensive production with his third goal of the playoffs. This goal coming off a wrist shot as opposed to his usual slap shot from the top of the zone.
Five minutes later, the Gulls took over completely as Maxime Comtois scored on a rebound, unopposed in front of the net.
The Gulls added one more during the second, a goal from Sam Carrick on a shot that somehow trickled past Starrett.
The Gulls carried a 5-2 lead into the second intermission, putting all the pressure on the offense of Bakersfield. San Diego was outshooting the Condors 18-16, controlling every part of the game at this point.
The Condors found themselves chasing most of the third period, finding little offensive chances. Starrett was instrumental in keeping the score where it was, stopping a breakaway attempt and countless odd-number rushes for San Diego.
San Diego held the defensive end well, limiting chances on even-strength attempts as well as Bakersfield powerplays.
The final nail in the coffin came at 18:01 in the third, an empty-net goal for Ben Street. The Gulls ran the final second off the clock and handshakes commenced.
The Condors went 1-for-5 on the powerplay while San Diego converted on 1-of-4 attempts. The Gulls outshot the Condors 29-22, Carrick and Kossila each accounting for five of the shots.
Andy Welinski had three assists in the contest, while Kossila (2G), Carrick (1G, 1A), Comtois (1G, 1A) and Kloos (2A) each had two points.
The Gulls win the series four games to two, advancing to the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Wolves. The Wolves, who won the regular season Central Divison title, have home ice for the series.