The Condors don’t face the San Diego Gulls again until Feb. 9.
That’s probably a good thing.
The Gulls continued to find a way to beat the Condors and on Wednesday night it was a goal by Joseph Blandisi with 70 seconds left to hand the Condors a bitter 2-1 loss at Rabobank Arena.
That’s three one-goal wins for the Gulls over the Condors over the past seven days. On the season the Gulls have garnered 11 of a possible 12 points in six games against the Condors, whose lone win came in an overtime game.
The Condors trailed 1-0 just three minutes into the game when Matt Berry beat Dylan Wells on a wrist shot that trickled off Wells' glove and into the net.
David Gust evened the score with a power-play goal 15 minutes into the second and it appeared the game would be headed to overtime until a shot by Luke Schenn hit a body and dropped right in front of Blandisi, who sent a quick shot from the slot past Wells for the game winner.
On Saturday night, the Gulls tied the game late in the third period before beating the Condors in overtime. Last Thursday night, the Condors lost 4-3 in San Diego.
“They’re a good team,” Condors coach Jay Woodcroft said of San Diego, which is 7-0-0-2 over its last nine. “I thought we’ve controlled a lot of the games we’ve played against them. We’ve struggled to find that next goal. Just critical moments in games against them have not gone our way.
“We’re a young group. We can’t lose sight of that. It’s a learning experience for us to continue to get better and find the teachable moment in it and continue to move forward.”
The Condors had a golden opportunity to get the go-ahead goal just over seven minutes into the third period when back-to-back San Diego penalties gave Bakersfield 2:42 of power-play time, including 1:18 on a two-man advantage.
The net result was two shots on goal.
“Our power play can be a little better than it was tonight, especially the 5-on-3 scenario," Woodcroft said of one of the “teachable” moments. “That said, it scored a big goal to get us back in the game as well.”
The Condors are missing some firepower up front due to recent call-ups to Edmonton and Woodcroft said the team did what he wanted on Wednesday: put the puck on net. Bakersfield outshot San Diego 34-27.
“You have to find ways to manufacture offense, especially when you’re missing key skill players,” Woodcroft said. “That said, we asked our players to shoot and shoot a lot, shoot to break down the other team.
“We had our chances tonight. Their goaltender (Kevin Boyle), give him some credit, give the way their team plays some credit.”
Edmonton Oilers Assistant General Manager Keith Gretzky was in attendance on Wednesday. It his second time in Bakersfield this season.
The Condors are back in action on Friday night when they host Colorado. The Condors are 2-1-0-1 against the Eagles. Bakersfield wraps up a three-game homestand on Saturday night against Tucson.