The Condors made their potential road to the playoffs a lot harder on Wednesday night with a 4-3 loss to the Texas Stars in Cedar Park, Texas.
Later, Stockton beat the San Diego Gulls and moved two points ahead of the Condors in the battle for the final playoff position in the AHL Pacific Division. Both Stockton and Bakersfield have five games remaining.
The Condors were in a 3-0 hole 10 minutes into the game, in part due to turnovers.
Ethan Werek put the Stars up 1-0 5:23 into the game when he finished a 3-on-1 break. Fourteen seconds later it was 2-0 as Caleb Herbert converted off a Condors turnover in their own zone. Another Bakersfield turnover resulted in Austin Fytin’s goal and a 3-0 Texas lead at 10:12.
That ended the night for Condors goaltender Nick Ellis, who gave up the three goals on seven shots.
Bakersfield got one back with 1:01 left in the period on a Mark Fraser goal.
Cole Ully put the Stars up 4-1 5:50 into the second period.
The Condors rallied, making it a two-goal game on Brodie Dupont’s goal at 9:14.
Joe Gambardella, playing in his first pro game, made it 4-3 with his first goal at 8:58 in the third period. He also had an assist on Fraser’s goal.
The Condors were putting pressure on the Stars in the final 10 minutes but took two penalties in the final six minutes, putting themselves in a defensive posture.
Jonas Gustavsson, who came in for Ellis, stopped 14 shots but drew the loss as the goal he gave up turned out to be the game-winner.