Patience and Iiro Pakarinen turned into a winning combination for the Condors on Wednesday night at Rabobank Arena.
Tied 1-1 against Texas after 60 minutes of play, the Condors, who were 0-for-6 in overtime games this season, went into puck possession mode.
Time and again they went into the Stars zone, then back out to regroup with a new set of bodies. In. Out. In out.
Finally, the opening came.
Defenseman Ethan Bear had the the puck in the right circle and drew two Texas defenders. Pakarinen drifted alone into the slot, took a feed from Bear and beat Mike McKenna 4:10 into the extra frame for a 2-1 victory.
“It’s just having puck possession and if you don’t have any chance you can take it back, out of the blue line and make some changes and I think we played that very well tonight and had that patience,” Pakarinen said. “Only one chance and I scored the goal and that’s big for us.”
The Condors now have points in six straight games and are two games above .500 (15-13-6-0) for the first time this season.
“It’s a big one,” said Pakarinen, who has goals in five straight. “It felt kind of like a playoff win for us. The last road trip we played extremely well (3-0-1), got to .500 and that was a huge thing for us. Now we just have to keep this up.”
The Condors trailed 1-0 entering the third period and tied the game at 7:24 when Josh Currie, who had been stopped on two quick point-blank shots, gathered a rebound behind the goal line and banked it off McKenna and into the net.
Laurent Brossoit, assigned to the Condors by Edmonton on Sunday, made his first start for Bakersfield and was beaten by Denis Gurianov on just the second shot of the game, 4:56 into the first. But Brossoit was good the rest of the way, stopping 22 shots for his first win in Bakersfield in exactly a year.
“I thought he was solid,” Condors coach Gerry Fleming said of Brossoit. “He hasn’t played in a while (Dec. 4 was his last game). I’m sure he would have liked to have that first one back but they did a good job of taking his eyes away. He made a couple of really big saves for us in the second period that allowed us to get to overtime.”
With three goaltenders, that meant one had to sit out and that was Eddie Pasquale as Nick Ellis played the role of backup. The Condors also are one player over the AHL vet limit and the vet sitting on Wednesday night was defenseman Ryan Stanton. Defenseman Ben Betker and forwards Kyle Platzer and Braden Christoffer were the other scratches.
The Condors trailed Texas after two periods in five of the six games they played yet finished the series with the Stars 3-0-3.