The Condors needed two points.
They had to settle for a hard-fought one on Friday night at Rabobank Arena as they lost 3-2 to the San Diego Gulls in a shootout.
It was a high-energy, emotional battle from the start and the home crowd was roaring with 96 seconds left when Brad Malone scored a short-handed goal to tie the game 2-2.
That led to the Condors 13th overtime game this season, where Laurent Brossoit made a huge save early on to keep the period going. The Condors then killed a two-minute San Diego power play before ending up with a 27-second power play of their own at the end.
All of that action decided nothing, so it was to a shootout which went extra innings as each team had a goal after three shooters. David Gust gave the Condors the advantage in the fourth round but Giovanni Fiore scored to keep the drama going. Nic Kerdiles scored in the bottom of the sixth to give the Gulls the extra point.
San Diego scored on the first shot of the game when a wrister by Corey Tropp from the right circle beat Brossoit at the 3:25 mark.
Then came perhaps the most bizarre goal of the season at Rabobank Arena.
Kerdiles’ hard shot from the left circle appeared to hit a skate, sailed high into the air behind Brossoit and bounced into the goal about the same time Ryan Hamilton had crashed into the net, which caused it to lift up.
It was called a goal on the ice and after a video review, it stood, giving the Gulls a a 2-0 lead at 10:29.
The Condors cut the deficit to 2-1 with six minutes left when Evan Polei, just called up from Wichita in the ECHL, drove to the net and slipped a backhander past Reto Berra for his first AHL game.
The Condors had a great chance to tie the game early in the second period when they had a two-man advantage for 55 seconds. Berra repelled a shot by Joey LaLeggia with time running out, then made a huge glove save on Ty Rattie to keep the Condors from getting the equalizer.
The Condors spent a lot of the second period in the San Diego zone but could not get a shot past Berra.
Josh Currie, called for an interference penalty in the neutral zone with 3:34 left, dropped gloves with Eric Fehr, who took exception to the hit. Despite giving up five inches to the 6-4 Fehr, Currie had the Condors bench cheering wildly as he landed a solid uppercut before wrestling Fehr down.
- Forward Grayson Downing and defenseman Caleb Jones were both scratched due to injuries suffered Tuesday night in Rockford, Ill. For Jones, it is the first game he has missed in his rookie campaign.
- It was Let it Fly Friday and fans tossed a variety of packaged undergarments onto the ice after Polei’s goal. They will be donated to charity.
- The Condors will wear special Star Wars-themed jerseys tonight for the first time ever in the annual Star Wars Night game. Those will be auctioned off following the game. The pre-game Party on the Plaza takes place from 5-7 p.m.