Malone, Condors sink Gulls in OT again

Photo: Mark Nessia

Captain Brad Malone buried a rebound 7:36 into overtime to send the Bakersfield Condors into the Pacific Division Finals with a 2-1 win over San Diego on Monday evening.

Following back-to-back come-from-behind OT wins to eliminate the Gulls, the Condors will take on the Henderson Silver Knights in a best-of-three series for the division championship.

Malone scored the winning goal off a loose puck at the side of the crease after Lukas Dostal had stopped both Theodor Lennstrom‘s shot from the slot and Tyler Benson‘s put-back attempt from in close.

Dostal (1-2) was outstanding in the San Diego crease, finishing with 43 saves on the night as the Gulls were outshot by a 45-21 margin.

The Gulls opened the scoring in Game 3, just as they did in each of the first two games of the series. Vinni Lettieri collected an errant clearing attempt and sent the puck on net, where Andrew Agozzino redirected it home at 7:42 of the first period.

Bakersfield pulled even at 12:18 of the second, as Adam Cracknell finished off a give-and-go with Raphael Lavoie for his first goal of this postseason and his 14th career AHL playoff goal.

A scoreless third period set the stage for the fifth overtime game in nine playoff meetings between the clubs all-time.

Stuart Skinner (2-1) made 20 saves for the Condors to earn the victory.

Pacific Division Semifinals (best-of-3)
(2) Bakersfield Condors vs. (3) San Diego Gulls
Game 1 – Fri., May 21 – San Diego 5, Bakersfield 3
Game 2 – Sun., May 23 – Bakersfield 3, San Diego 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Mon., May 24 – Bakersfield 2, San Diego 1 (OT)
— All games at Bakersfield, CA