Josh Currie had a breakout night on Thursday at Rabobank Arena but that alone wasn’t quite enough to lead the Condors to victory.
Currie scored three goals for his first multi-goal game of the season but the Condors had to go to a shootout, where Ty Rattie and Joey LaLeggia scored as the Condors came away with a 4-3 win over the San Jose Barracuda.
Currie tied the game 1-1 early in the second period, put the Condors up 2-1 early in the third, and put Bakersfield up 3-2 with 2:37 left to play in regulation.
But San Jose, with its net empty and an extra attacker on the ice, tied the game on a shot by Joakim Ryan with 7.2 seconds left.
“Seven second left, it’s tough to give up a goal like that,” Currie said. “You’ve got to stay with it, stay positive and that’s what we did.”
In the shootout, Rattie and LaLeggia beat Nick Grosenick, and Nick Ellis stopped all three San Jose shooters for the Condors.
“He missed an open net in San Jose on Sunday and the first shift he misses an open net tonight and he came back a little frustrated,” Condors coach Gerry Fleming said of Currie. “I said 'you’ve just got to park it here and move on.' It was nice to see him respond with the hat trick tonight.”
Currie had a breakout year last season with 22 goals, but started this year off without a point in seven games. He also went pointless in five straight from late November through early December. He now has points in five straight.
“I had a bit of a slump there scoring wise, so it was good to kind of get the monkey off the back there,” Curry said. “It was huge to get the two points. That’s what we need most of all. It was great to get back on the winning track.”
Currie’s first two goals came by crashing the net.
“I kind of got away from that the last couple of weeks, playing too much on the perimeter but Gerry told me to keep it simple, do what I’ve done to get me here," Currie said. "That’s kind of what I’ve done — just gone back to basics and it seemed to pay off tonight.”
It was a see-saw game from the get go.
The first period was pretty even with a couple of good chances for both teams coming in the span of 13 seconds — Ellis with a big save with 5:50 left then Groesnick making a big glove stop on Kyle Platzer with 5:27 to go.
The period turned in the final 2:09 as the Condors were called for three penalties in span of 1:26.
First, Caleb Jones was whistled for holds at 17:51, then Keegan Lowe sent a puck over the glass at 18:23 to give the Barracuda a two-man advantage.
San Jose’s Rudolfs Balcers cashed in when the puck bounced high into the air and right down in front of him where he quickly banged it into the open net for a 1-0 lead with 1:06 left to play in the period.
The Condors started the second by killing 1:18 of San Jose power-play time, including an initial 23 seconds of 5-on-3, then tied the game on the first shift of even-strength hockey.
An aggressive forecheck on Goresnick behind the San Jose net resulted in Grosenick losing the puck and diving to make a scrambling save on a shot by Currie off a feed by LaLeggia. But Currie quickly banked in the rebound to tie the game 1-1.
San Jose’s Alexander True tied the game 2-2 at 7:18 off a feed from behind the net by Manuel Wiederer.
Currie broke in alone on a power-play to beat Grosenick at 17:23 of the third.
The Condors tied their season high with 42 shots on goal. San Jose had 28.