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Condors lock up No. 2 seed in divisional playoffs


Bakersfield's Brad Malone celebrates a first period goal in a May 15 game against Henderson. Malone's OT goal in the decisive game three against San Diego set up a Pacific Division Playoff Championship showdown with Henderson.

American Hockey League playoff action will be coming to Bakersfield during the 2021 season.

Seth Griffith scored the game winning goal with under five minutes to play in the second period, and the Condors secured the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Pacific Division Playoffs with a 3-2 win at Henderson Saturday afternoon.

The game had the makings of a shootout early. Condor goals by James Hamblin and Brad Malone were answered by Jonas Rondbjerg and Brayden Pachal, with all that scoring coming in the game's first seven minutes.

But after surrendering two goals in the first eight shots, Stuart Skinner, who was pulled during an ugly 5-0 loss to the Silver Knights Thursday, was spotless the rest of the game, finishing with 30 saves. Skinner now has an AHL-best 20 wins on the season.

This allowed Griffith to play the hero with 4:26 to go in the second period, scoring his 10th goal of the season on assists from Raphael Lavoie and Malone.

With the win, the Condors will host a best-of-three series against No. 3 seed San Diego, beginning next weekend. All three games will be at Mechanics Bank Arena, though the Gulls will be designated the home team in game two.

Game one will be Friday, with game two on Sunday. If necessary, an elimination third game will take place Monday, May 24. The Friday and Monday games will start at 6 p.m. while the Sunday game will be at 5 p.m.

Before that, Bakersfield has one more regular season game against Henderson, which will take place at 5 p.m. on the road Sunday.