The Bakersfield Condors made their American Hockey League postseason debut in style on Friday night.
Opening their postseason run on the road despite winning the Western Conference’s Pacific Division, Bakersfield downed Colorado 3-2 to take a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 of the best-of-five series will be Saturday night before action shifts back to Bakersfield for Game 3 on Tuesday.
Games 4 and 5, if necessary, will be played next weekend in Bakersfield.
Friday’s series starter was a tight game throughout, one which saw Condors defenseman Logan Day score the go-ahead goal 6:33 into the third period to put Bakersfield ahead 3-2. The goal was assisted by Joe Gambardella and Brad Malone.
It came less than a minute after David Warsofky tied the score for the Eagles at the 5:48 mark of the third. That followed a trend throughout a game the Condors never trailed in.
Bakersfield took a 1-0 lead at 9:17 of the first period when Malone broke the seal, assisted by William Lagesson and Patrick Russell.
Colorado would tie the score 55 seconds into the second period when Mark Alt found the back of the net. But Bakersfield responded just over five minutes later, when Lagesson lit the lamp from Caleb Jones and Russell.
Shane Starrett got the win in goal for Bakersfield, stopping 24 of the 26 shots he faced.
The Condors put 22 shots on Colorado goalie Pavel Francouz.
Day was named the game’s first star while Starrett was No. 2. Malone had a strong game with a goal, an assist and a plus-3 rating.
Each team failed to score on their lone power play opportunities.