GAME PREVIEW: Bobblehead Giveaway
The Bakersfield Condors host the Ontario Reign and will play Ontario three of their next four games. Bakersfield is 4-4-1-0 against the Pacific Division leaders. Last time out, Ontario cruised to a 5-2 win on March 22, ending a four-game unbeaten streak for the Condors agains the Reign. The two teams will play a home-and-home series next weekend, beginning Friday in Ontario.IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Condors needed a win last night and they delivered a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Barracuda. Bakersfield struck first with LW Rob Klinkhammer breaking out shorthanded. The Condors extended the lead to 3-0 in the second with power-play goals from D Brad Hunt and D Joey LaLeggia. After San Jose cut the deficit to one in the third, C Bogdan Yakimov potted an empty-net goal to secure the win. G Eetu Laurikainen stopped 37 of 39 shots in his third consecutive start for the win.
Ontario has dropped three straight after falling 3-2 in Stockton last night. C Michael Mersch scored his team-leading 22nd goal of the year to give the Reign a 1-0 advantage, but Stockton potted the next three. G Peter Budaj made 30 saves on 33 shots in the loss.
With Bakersfield and Charlotte winning last night and San Jose losing, the playoff race tightened back up for all involved. Bakersfield and Charlotte have seven games remaining, including tonight, while San Jose has six left. The Condors (.525%) trail Charlotte (.558) by essentially five points for the final playoff spot. In between, Bakersfield trails San Jose by four points.
Charlotte hosts Texas this afternoon while San Jose is in San Diego to continue a six-game road trip.
LW Rob Klinkhammer scored his team-leading fourth shorthanded goal last night. He is second in the league in that category while the Condors have scored 11 shorthanded goals as a team this season… G Eetu Laurikainen has stopped at least 30 shots in 10 of his 16 appearances this season… After scoring just four power-play goals in their last 19 games, the Condors scored two man-advantage goals last night.
Ontario lost for the first time this season in regulation when scoring the first goal of the game (29-1-1)… The Reign have the league’s best penalty kill at 88.9%… Ontario has outscored teams 62-37 in second periods and are allowing a league low 2.08 goals against… G Peter Budaj has played the most minutes in the AHL among goaltenders with nearly 300 more than his nearest netminder.
4/1 F Joey Benik signed to ATO