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John Harte / Special to the Californian

Condors host San Francisco Condor Jacob Lagace hits the ice as he tangles with Buls defenseman Simon Danis-Pepin in the first period.

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John Harte / Special to the Californian

Condors host San Francisco Condor center Levi Nelson races into the San Francisco zone after stealing the puck from Bulls defenseman Simon Danis=Pepin in the first period.

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John Harte / Special to the Californian

Condors host San Francisco Condor Tyler Brenner draws a penalty against San Francisco's Sacha Guimond as he battles for the puck in the crease with Bulls goalie Thomas Heemskerk. The play gave Bakersfield a two-man power play and they were able to tie the game at 1-1 a few seconds later.

At least "Dancing Granny" gave the fans reason to cheer in the third period Saturday night at Rabobank Arena.

By the time she leaped out of her seat and danced to "Cotton-Eyed Joe' with about nine minutes left, the game was essentially over.

Trailing 2-1 entering the final period, the Condors gave up a short-hander and a power-play goal in the first seven minutes as the San Francisco Bulls headed back home with a 4-1 victory.

Both teams entered the game struggling (each with two wins in the last seven), but by the time 60 minutes were over it was clear the Condors have the bigger problems.

For the 21st straight game, the Condors yielded more shots than they generated, this time 33-27.

And, in what is starting to become a bit of a tend, they followed up a pretty good first period with sub-par second and third periods.

"It's hard to figure out right now why we can't duplicate our first periods," Condors coach Matt O'Dette said. "It's just a downhill slope after that. Our shot totals go way down, our offensive time and our offensive chances go way down and it's something we have to figure out and get better."

With every mounting loss, the Condors (7-16-1-2) fall further behind teams that a few games ago were not very far ahead in points.

The Bulls (11-15-1-2) are one of those teams starting to distance themselves from the Condors.

The Bulls scored the first goal of the game on the first shot when a high clearing pass resulted in a 2-on-1-break with Justin Bowers scoring at the 1:28 mark.

From the mid-point on, the period turned into a special-team fest with lots of power-play time, including 5-on-3s, 4-on-3s and some 4-on-4.

That paid dividends for the Condors as Jacob Lagace tied the game during 4-on-3 play when he fired in a rebound off a Zach Cohen shot at 13:56.

The Condors out-shot the Bulls 16-11 in the first period, then went into what is becoming their normal second-period funk. They generated just two shots before the Bulls took a 2-1 lead on a power-play goal by Dean Ouellet at 15:54.

That goal got the Condors in motion as they put four shots on goal over the final 3:30 but could not get the equalizer.

The Condors had a chance to tie the game early in the third period on a power play, but when Tyler Brenner slipped and lost the puck at the blue line it led to an odd-man rush for the Bulls, which ended in a short-handed goal by Kris Belen at 4:19.

Three and-a-half minutes later, any potential comeback ended when Andrew Crescenzi scored a power play goal to make it 4-1.

“We have some injuries on the (defensive) end and fatigue sets in,” O'Dette said as to some of the late-game troubles. “But you're going to have that during the season and you have to deal with it and fight through it.

“That's what we gotta do.”


The Condors won't be getting much rest as they leave at 10 this morning for Las Vegas where they face the Wranglers in their annual midnight game (11:59 p.m. tonight).

On Tuesday, they jet to Colorado where they finish the pre-Christmas portion of their season with games against the Eagles on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Down three defensemen due to injuries, Condors coach Matt O'Dette claimed Deron Cousens off waivers from Greenville (S.C) on Saturday, but Cousens won't be coming to Bakersfield. He has signed to play in the Central Hockey League.

O’Dette said defenseman Ryan Annesley, injured on Friday night, would most likely be out three weeks with a shoulder injury. Also still out are Olivier Dame-Malka (concussion) and Trevor Hendrikx (lower body).