Playing from behind for the third straight game, the Bakersfield Condors finally found a deficit they could not overcome.
But they gave it a good run.
Trailing by three goals midway through the third period, the Condors scored two goals during a 28-second stretch, but the host San Jose Barracuda held on, posting a 4-3 victory on Wednesday to snap Bakersfield’s nine-game winning streak.
Adam Cracknell scored an unassisted goal at 11:49 of the third period and Seth Griffith followed with another at 12:17 to trim San Jose’s lead to 4-3. Despite a 40-25 advantage on shots on goal, and a power play for the final 44 seconds, the Condors couldn’t push across the equalizer.
Bakersfield’s Cooper Marody, the AHL’s leading scorer, had the last chance to the tie the game with 10 seconds to play, but Barracuda goalie Josef Korenar made the stop to preserve the victory.
Korenar and San Jose had led by one goal in the final minutes in each of their last two games against Bakersfield, but gave up the tying goal and lost in overtime.
The Barracuda appeared set to stop the trend of late-game collapses when it built a 4-1 lead following Joachim Blichfeld’s goal with just 8:36 to play.
It was part of a wild final period that saw the teams combine for five goals, including four in a 4:58 second stretch.
After a scoreless first period, the Barracuda scored one goal early and another late in the second period to take a 2-0 lead. Joel Kellman scored just 1:22 into the period and teammate Jeffrey Viel scored with 1:55 left to pad the lead entering the second break.
The Condors cut the lead in half when Tyler Benson scored just 2:40 into the third period, but San Jose responded with two goals, ignited by defenseman Jacob Middleton’s goal at the 7:19 mark.
That set the stage for what has become a familiar scenario for the Condors.
Korenar finished with 37 saves to notch the victory, while Olivier Rodrigue suffered the loss to drop to 0-4.
Bakersfield returns home to Mechanics Bank Arena for a pair of games against the Ontario Reign, Saturday and Sunday. Both games are set to start at 3 p.m.