Bakersfield, Calif. – The Stockton Heat fell behind to the Bakersfield Condors by four goals after 40 minutes Saturday night before the Heat staged a furious third period rally that saw them score three unanswered goals; however it was not enough as the Condors held on to win by a score of 4-3. Derek Grant set the comeback in motion with his league-leading 23rd goal on the season, before Emile Poirier and Dustin Stevenson scored a goal each to pull Stockton within one late in the contest. Ultimately, Bakersfield goaltender Laurent Brossoit and company held strong and earned the win. The Stockton Heat and the Bakersfield Condors will take a couple days away from each other before meeting right back at Rabobank Arena Tuesday night for a rematch.
Bakersfield goal: F Rob Klinkhammer (4) shot from the backdoor gets past the goaltender’s outstretched glove after the puck bounced out from traffic in the slot (Khaira, Ford assists), 15:10 (PP)
Shots: STK – 6 | BAK – 14
Bakersfield goal: F Anton Slepyshev (5) 2-on-1 opportunity leads to a pass across the slot and the puck is chipped in over the goaltender’s outstretched pad (Khaira, Gazdic assists), 2:11
Bakersfield goal: F Luke Gazdic (1) shot off an odd-man rush goes short side past the goaltender’s blocker (Currie, Kessy assists), 9:55
Bakersfield goal: F Anton Slepyshev (6) puck pops out of a scramble in the slot and is put over the goaltender’s outstretched pad (Roy, Oesterle assists), 13:30
Shots: STK – 13 | BAK – 8
HEAT GOAL: F Derek Grant (23) puck is found in a scramble in front of the net and is tapped past the goaltender and into the net (Agostino, Morrison assists), 4:12 (PP)
HEAT GOAL: F Emile Poirier (8) shot from the slot on a rush goes high past the goaltender and into the net just under the crossbar (Shore assist), 11:03
HEAT GOAL: D Dustin Stevenson (2) shot ricochets off the goaltender’s leg and into the net (Agostino assist), 13:13
Shots: STK – 14 | BAK – 10
W: Laurent Brossoit (33 shots, 30 saves)
L: Kevin Poulin (32 shots, 28 saves)
Three Stars: 1- Anton Slepyshev (2 goals) 2- Luke Gazdic (1 goal, 1 assist) 3- Rob Klinkhammer (1 goal)
Final Shots: STK – 33 | BAK – 32
Power Plays: STK – 1/6 | BAK – 1/4
Derek Grant (1 goal) extends his point streak to five games (6 goals, 4 assists) and his goal streak to a team high four games
Grant’s goal was good for his 23rd on the season, giving him sole-possession of the league’s top spot in goals. It was also his 38th point on the season, tying his single-season career-high.
Kenny Agostino (2 assists) earns his 10th multi-point game of the season
Hunter Smith exited the game in the second period with an apparent injury. According to coach Huska, he will be reevaluated when the team returns to Stockton ahead of Tuesday’s game but it didn’t appear serious
“I think it has its pros and cons. You can get into the flow of the game a little bit more and you feel more involved, but at the same time I felt like we were hemmed in our end for a little over half the game and that can take its toll on you.” – Dustin Stevenson on playing with just five defensemen tonight.
“We said it going into the locker room after the second – we wanted to be sure and grab some momentum in this one heading into Tuesday and at the very least I think we did that.” – Stevenson on how the comeback in the third period will translate to Tuesday’s rematch.
“It was a tough start early on. You can get behind the 8-ball if you don’t come out ready to play and we have to do a better job of making sure our team is prepared. We’ve had two games the last two nights where slow starts cost us and we’ve made some poor decisions early in games that give up odd-man rushes. When you’re fighting from behind like we have the last two nights it’s tough to win.” – Head Coach Ryan Huska on his evaluation of tonight’s setback.
“You get one early and that gives a little life to your group. Once you get one you try and build on it, then the second one goes in and you start having that feeling that there’s a chance and there was a lot of time left. I think the period just kind of snowballed for us after that first goal.” – coach Huska on what sparked the third period comeback.
“I think we complicated things at time and that forced some mistakes in our own zone. When you’re playing shorthanded like we were, you have to make really good decisions and I thought we were guilty of giving up too many odd-man rushes tonight.” – coach Huska on his thoughts of the defensive-zone play tonight.
NEXT HOME GAME
STOCKTON HEAT vs. Ontario Reign
February 13 @ Stockton Arena
First 500 fans receive an Emile Poirier bobblehead
Doors @ 6:30 p.m., Puck drop @ 7:30 p.m.