The first period was much like Tuesday night’s Game 3, except it was Colorado who owned a significant amount of the chances in the opening ten minutes. As expected, the game opened up physical and emotional, fueled off the small post-game altercation on the ice following Tuesday’s game.
Around eight minutes in, Bakersfield had their best chance of the first period, putting five shots on net in about 10 seconds. Pavel Francouz once again showed up to play and delivered for the Eagles.
The first period concluded with the game still searching for the first goal as Bakersfield carried a narrow margin in shots, 12-9.
Things picked up in the second period, however. It took just over four minutes for Mitch Callahan to score his first of the playoffs and give the Condors a 1-0 lead.
Shortly after, at 8:15, Martin Kaut scored to tie the game at 1-1, just his first of the playoffs.
The game held steady for a while after the goals, the physicality resembling what you might expect in a potential elimination game.
As the period was set to expire, Colorado was using every second of a Brad Malone slashing penalty and threw some shots on net. With half a second left in the second period, Kaut scored his second of the game.
The Eagles carried all the momentum into the third period, up 2-1.
Nick Henry was sent to the penalty box in the first two minutes of the third period, giving the Condors an early opportunity to tie the game at two. Evan Bouchard did just that, scoring from the high slot, this his second goal of the playoffs.
The Condors began to pull away in the game physically during a penalty kill midway through the period. During the penalty kill, Patrick Russell scored his second of the playoffs as well.
Bakersfield put the pressure on Colorado at 10:54 when Malone found the back of the net and doubled the Condors lead.
Throughout the remaining nine minutes, Bakersfield controlled the game well, keeping constant pressure and possession of the puck.
Colorado called their timeout with about 90 seconds left in regulation, in hopes to find some sort of offensive answer. The only offense they would find is an empty net goal scored by Luke Esposito, his first goal of the 2019 playoffs.
The Condors took the game 5-2, outshooting the Eagles 31-26. Bakersfield went 1-for-3 on the powerplay while Colorado went 1-for-5. Shane Starrett picked up the win, a 24 save effort. Francouz was given the loss, allowing four goals on 30 shots.
With the win, Bakersfield advances to the Pacific division finals against the San Diego Gulls. Game 1 is set to take place Friday, May 3 in Bakersfield. A full series preview will be coming soon.
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