The Condors fired away on Friday night at Rabobank Arena, but a season-high 51 shots was not enough to beat the Colorado Eagles.
Bakersfield certainly sprayed the puck around, but the Eagles, who had 31 shots, were more accurate and escaped with a 5-4 victory.
“We don’t win a lot of games where we give up five goals and tonight was an example of that,” Condors coach Jay Woodcroft said. “We have to be better defensively to give ourselves a chance to win. We weren’t good enough or competitive enough or detailed enough defensively tonight.”
The Condors trailed by one entering the third period and wound up in a two-goal hole a minute into the third when a wide-open Scott Kosmachuk scored off a drop-ice pass on a quick up-ice rush.
Mitch Callahan poked in a rebound from just outside the blue paint 7:31 into the third to make it a one-goal game but the Condors, despite firing another 15 shots, could not get the equalizer past Spencer Martin.
The 51 shots, the final one coming right at the buzzer, equaled an AHL franchise-high for the Condors.
“The positive side is we scored four goals, which we haven’t done in a while either,” Woodcroft said. “But you can’t sacrifice giving up grade A chances and coverage mistakes in order to get offense and we learned that lesson tonight.
“We’ve been able to lock it down, defensive over the last two months or so and have gotten good goaltending and have been pretty detailed,” Woodcroft said. “We know that’s part of our recipe to win games. Tonight we got away from that. We’re going to have to get back to it fairly quickly in other to have a good chance (Saturday night) against a good Tucson team.”
The Condors (15-13-3-1) are 1-3-1-1 in their last six games.
The Condors opened the scoring 3:44 into the first when Cooper Marody snapped a five-game scoreless streak by hammering in his seventh of the season off a scramble in front of the net.
The Eagles answered at 6:09 when Kosmachuk collected a rebound at the left edge of the net and stuffed the puck past Wells to make it 1-1.
The period ended with a bizarre goal and a 2-1 deficit for the Condors.
Well sticked away a shot by David Warsofsky which went high into the air. Well looked to his right but the puck was coming down to his left. Bakersfield’s Mitch Callahan tried to glove the puck down at the edge of the net but it went off his fingertips, behind Wells and into the net with 49 seconds left.
The Condors made it 2-2 midway through the second period when Patrick Russell scored on the power play on a shot from the right circle.
Colorado responded with its own power-play goal, by Igor Shvyrev, three minutes later and went up 4-2 at 15:57 when Andrew Agozzino redirected a shot past Wells.
David Gust made it a one-goal game when his shot got past Martin then trickled over the goal line with 24 seconds left in the period.
Tyler Benson's assist on Marody’s goal was his 19th and ties him with Joey LaLeggia (2015-16) for the most assists by a rookie in Condors AHL history.
Among the crowd were five guys from Edmonton (decked out in Oilers jerseys) on a hockey-watching weekend. They will be in LA on Saturday night to watch Sunday's Oilers-Kings game in Anaheim.