The Bakersfield Condors played before royalty on Friday night at Rabobank Arena and snapped a five-game winless streak with a 3-2 victory over the Ontario Reign.
Andean Condor Queen Victoria posed majestically on top of her cage with wings spread during the National Anthem and King Edward strutted his stuff during the first intermission with the Condors leading 2-0.
Also impressive was the Condors power play, which went 2-for-4 after going not producing a goal in the prior eight games. And the penalty kill stopped all four Ontario chances.
The final Ontario power play came with just over three minutes left and Laurent Brossoit, who finished with 28 saves, stopped three Grade A chances.
“They had some pretty good looks on their PP, we’re going to have to tighten that up,” Condors coach Gerry Fleming said. “But when they did get those opportunities LB was there to shut the door. And it was nice to see us finally click on the power play.
“We needed (the win). I thought we had a good week of practice. Guys had a lot of energy, a lot of passion this week in practice. The compete level was high. It was nice to see them rewarded with two points tonight.”
The Condors headed into the third period with a 3-1 lead but the Reign cut the lead to a goal when Jordan Subban scored off a turnover in the Bakersfield end 4:09 into the period.
Ontario fired 15 shots at Brossoit in the period but could not get the equalizer and the Condors won on home ice for the first time in regulation since the Teddy Bear Toss game back on Nov. 25.
The teams meet again tonight (6 p.m.) in Ontario.
Josh Currie got things going for the Condors 3:11 into the game with his first goal in 10 games when he redirected a shot from the point by Keegan Lowe past Jack Campbell.
That apparently kick-started the power play as the Condors made it 2-0 on their next man advantage when David Gust took a pass from Grayson Downing just as he reached the Reign blueline, put on a burst of speed and split a pair of defenders and scored his 10th of the season at 17:10.
“We worked on that the other day, Downs kind of hitting me coming up through the middle,” Gust said of his goal. “That guy can make a pass to anybody and he just kind of caught me in speed and then I split the D and was in all alone.
“It was a good win after that blowout (an 8-0 loss to Iowa last Friday). Hopefully we can put a few together.”
Evan Polei put the Condors up 3-0 at 9:52 into the second on another power-play goal.
Ontario cut the lead to 3-1 on a goal by Andrew Crescenzi midway through the second.
Condors center Brad Malone suffered a concussion in the first period and did not play the rest of the game.