BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Paced by multi-point efforts from Glenn Gawdin, Byron Froese, Jakob Pelletier and Luke Philp, the Stockton Heat finished off a three-game sweep of the Bakersfield Condors with a 6-4 win Friday at Mechanics Bank Arena.
It’s the first-ever postseason series win for Stockton as the Heat advance to the Pacific Division Final series, a best-of-five against the winner of the semifinal between the Colorado Eagles and Ontario Reign.
Stockton scored first for the third consecutive game, Pelletier redirecting an Andy Welinski shot on the power play for a 1-0 lead 7:51 into the action. Bakersfield answered quickly, Brendan Perlini knotting the game at a goal a side 1:25 later to produce a 1-1 game through the first period.
The Condors then took their first lead of the series with a Dylan Holloway strike 51 ticks into the second frame, a short-lived edge as Froese pulled the visitors back to even footing just 33 seconds later. Gawdin pushed Stockton ahead 7:05 into the second stanza, cashing in on a rebound in close, but a resilient home side tied the game again before the second intermission as Alex Peters found the back of the net for a 3-3 draw through 40 minutes.
The Heat took control with goals from Nick DeSimone and Walker Duehr in the first 10:33 of the final period. Dylan Holloway pulled Bakersfield back within striking distance with just over eight minutes remaining, but the Heat held the home team off the board before Justin Kirkland’s empty netter with just two seconds remaining sealed the deal at 6-4.
- Jakob Pelletier’s goal in the first was Stockton’s first power play strike of the series. It was Pelletier’s second first goal of the Pacific Division Semifinal, last opening the scoring in game one.
- Byron Froese’s second period score was his eighth career Calder Cup Playoff goal, coming in his 30th Calder Cup Playoff game.
- Glenn Gawdin’s goal was his first Calder Cup Playoff marker.
- Nick DeSimone had two career playoff goals before lighting the lamp in back-to-back games to close out the series.
- Stockton trailed for 33 seconds in the series.
- It’s the first series win in Heat history.
STK PP – 2-for-3
STK PK – 1-for-3
First – Jakob Pelletier (1g,1a)
Second – Walker Duehr (1g)
Third – Glenn Gawdin (1g,2a)
W – Dustin Wolf (38 saves on 42 shots faced)
L – Stuart Skinner (35 saves on 40 shots faced)
Stockton awaits the winner of the best-of-five series between the Colorado Eagles and Ontario Reign, currently led two games to none by Colorado.