A 4-2 lead with under five minutes left in regulation was not enough for the Condors on Saturday night at Rabobank Arena.

The Tucson Roadrunners scored two goals in the final four minutes then got the game-winner on a power play in overtime for victory.

“It’s disheartening without a doubt, up by two with less than five minutes to go and you lose one in overtime,” said exasperated Condors coach Gerry Fleming. “One blown assignment and a couple of good plays.”

Two power-play goals and a successful penalty shot by Ryan Hamilton had helped forge the 4-2 lead with time running down.

But Tucson cut the lead to 4-3 with four minutes left after a shot went off the crossbar and Lane Pederson scored on a rebound. Tyler Gaudet, left wide open in the slot, tied the game with 2:49 left.

It was over 49 seconds into overtime when the the third overall pick of the 2015 draft, Dylan Strome, beat Nick Ellis from close range.

The Condors out shot the Roadrunners, 40-27.

Bakersfield set the tone early with an aggressive and effective forecheck leading to a goal by Joey LaLeggia and a 1-0 lead 5:54 into the game.

But it was special team play that proved to be, well, special for both teams.

Tucson tied the the game on a power-play goal by Strome at 7:57, but the Condors responded with a pair of power-play goals of their own.

Hamilton put Bakersfield back on top 2-1 with just 1:26 left in the first period when he banged in a rebound. David Gust made it 3-1 on shot from low in the right circle with 2:34 left in the second.

It was the first time the Condors have scored two power play goals in a game since Nov. 25.

Tucson’s Nick Merkley cut the lead to 3-2 with a power-play goal three minutes into the third.

Hamilton scored on a penalty shot 8:50 into the third to put the Condors up 4-2.


The Oilers placed veteran defenseman Eric Gryba on waivers Friday with the purpose of assignment to the Condors. Gryba, who has 279 games at the NHL level, last played at the AHL level in the 2012-13 season.

The Condors have Saturday off before finishing up 2017 play in a 5 p.m. game in Stockton on Sunday.

Mike Griffith can be reached at 661 395-7390. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeGriffith54. 

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