Hundreds of kids at Rabobank Arena were wearing special youth jerseys with his name and number on Saturday night, so it seemed fitting when Josh Currie brought them to their feet early in the third period.
Not once, but twice.
Unfortunately for the Condors and the 7,054 on hand for the Blackout Cancer game, Currie’s two goals were not enough as the Ontario Reign came away with a 3-2 victory.
The Condors trailed 1-0 when Currie brought the crowd to its feet when his blast from the right point sailed past Cal Peterson to tie the game on a power-play goal 3:16 into the period.
Five and a half minutes later he had the crowd roaring in approval as he ripped a shot from the right circle past Peterson to put the Condors up 2-1.
But Brett Sutter tied the game for Ontario at 10:53 when he turned and swept in a rebound after a quick rush.
Matt Moulson’s power-play goal with 3:38 to play was the game-winner.
The loss dropped the Condors back to .500 and seven points behind the Reign, who they are trying to pass for a playoff spot.
“It’s a difficult loss,” Condors coach Gerry Fleming said. “We talked about it between the second and third periods, about being smart. We knew the referees were calling it tight but they were consistent all weekend in their calls … we take a roughing penalty and that guy eventually gets the game winner.
“I thought our kill was good, they had two shots on our kill all night and the second one goes into the net. That was disappointing.”
Scoring chances were few and far between in the first 20 minutes of play with the only goal coming off the stick of Ontario’s Austin Wagner, who finished a 2-on-1 for a 1-0 lead 3:41 into the second.
“We had a bad change there, they get a guy coming off the bench, beats our guy up the ice and it’s a back-door tap-in,” Fleming said. “It’s a tough loss be we have to keep plugging away here.”
Rattie called up to Edmonton
Ty Ratite, who had as assist in Friday night’s 4-1 win over San Jose, was recalled to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday and joined the team in Los Angeles. Rattie, however, was a scratch against the Kings on Saturday night. The Oilers play in Anaheim on Sunday. Rattie leads the Condors in points with 40 (20 goals, 20 assists) in 49 games.
Alumni take to the ice
Former Condor players took to the ice before the game for the annual alumni game. Skaters were divided into three teams and played 3-on-3. Old age and treachery won out as the oldest group, by average age, emerged victorious. That group was comprised of Kevin Barrett, Glen Mears, Jamie Cook. Ted Daley, Charlie Moxham (who did no play for the Condors but is a friend of former Condors captain Sean Venedam, who was on the losing side) and goaltender Joe Watkins. Venedam’s jersey went for $1,500 in bidding during the first intermission.
Josh Currie’s specialty jersey fetched $2,500 in a post-game auction. Goaltender Laurent Brossoit’s went for $2,000. Funds raised go to the Kern County Cancer Fund.