Condors defenseman Jordan Oesterle was injured late in the game and the Condors suffered a serious blow to their playoff hopes as well in a 4-3 loss to the San Antonio Rampage on Friday night in San Antonio.
Oesterle was injured when Jim O’Brien sent him head-first into the boards with the Condors trailing 4-2 and 2:42 left to play.
O’Brien received a match penalty for the hit.
Oesterle was on the ice for several moments before being placed on a stretcher and wheeled off the the ice. An update on his status was not immediately available after the game.
Anton Lander scored a power-play goal with 2:06 to play but the Condors could not get the equalizer to send the game into overtime.
The inability to beat teams below them in the Pacific Division has cost the Condors dearly in their quest to make the playoffs.
It was the fourth loss in the past five games for the Condors, who are two points behind Stockton in the battle for the final playoff spot. Stockton has five games left, the Condors have four games remaining.
The Rampage, the last place team in the division, had lost seven straight heading into Friday night’s game. The Condors lost 5-2 at home to Manitoba on March 28, a team that was 1-7-1 coming to into Bakersfield. On Tuesday, the Condors started a five-game road trip by falling to Texas, which was 1-4-0-1 before the win over Bakersfield.
The Condors dug an early 0-2 hole and never led.
Eric Gelinas put the Rampage up 2:09 into the game on a power play goal after Jonas Gustavsson was called for delay of game when his clearing pass sailed over the glass.
Gustavsson then misplayed the puck behind the net, it got caught in his skates, Brendan Ranford got it and an attempted centering pass went off Gustavsson’s skates and into the net as he tried to get back in position at 14:58.
Jaedon Descheneau made it 2-1 when he scored from the slot with 1:20 left in the first left to make it 2-1 and his goal midway through the second made it 2-2.
But Gelinas put the Rampage back on top 3-2 with another power play goal 1:07 into the third. Reid Petryk scored what turned out to be the game winner at 12:44.
It was the first time since Feb. 17 the Condors have allowed two power play goals in a game.
Stockton faces San Jose tonight and can increase its lead to four points over Bakersfield with a win.
The Condors face San Antonio again at 1 p.m. on Sunday.