BAKERSFIELD, CA – All of the positives the Reign found in the Stockton game stayed in Ontario as the squad took a large step back in last night’s game against the Condors.
The two teams played a relatively even game for the first period and half of the second, with neither seeming to get the upper hand. The Reign were to first to deposit a puck in the net, but it was disallowed due to being played with a high stick. The Reign were also able to kill off an extended 5-on-3 power play with both Derek Forbort and Vincent LoVerde in the box.
Shortly after that, however, a well placed shot by Jordan Oesterle beat an un-screened Peter Budaj over his shoulder. Just over two minutes later, a turnover in the neutral zone sent the Condors 3 on 2 the other direction. No one picked up Matthew Ford off of the bench and his shot bounced right back to him for the second goal. The Reign began to show their frustration with ill-advised penalties and sloppy plays that resulted in another LoVerde penalty. Another good shot from Oesterle bounced off of the post, then Budaj and into the net. At the end of the second, it was 3-0 Condors and they were out-shooting the Reign 28-15.
The third period saw more of the same. A frustrated Reign squad taking bad penalties and the Condors controlling all of the momentum. Another turnover, this time in the Reign’s own zone, allowed Kale Kessy to backhand the puck past Budaj. The goal would mark the final tally, with the Condors winning 4-0.
Impressive: The ability of the Condors to goad the Reign into taking bad penalties. Bakersfield knew exactly where the line was and how to get under the Reign’s skin.
Not So Much: Vincent LoVerde had a bad night, spending much of it in the box and ending up -2 for the game. The Condors also had Paul Bissonnette’s number and were able to push him into a series of bad penalties.
Elsewhere in the Division: Charlotte continued their California domination with a 4-2 comeback win over the Gulls. The Stars finished their sweep of the Chicago series with a 5-2 win. San Jose won 6-4 against the Rampage. The Heat had the night off.