BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Bakersfield Condors defeated the Colorado Eagles, 3-1, on the strength of their perfect (seven-for-seven) penalty-killing and 18 saves from Matt Keetley . Kyle Jones stopped 28 of 30 shots for Colorado, as they split their first weekend set of games in the ECHL.
The teams played a penalty-filled, back-and-forth first period that saw the Condors receive four power plays (compared to the Eagles’ two). That advantage in man-advantages helped Bakersfield to a 19-8 edge in shots. But just like the night before, Jones stopped 18 of them, getting beat just once when Jesse Gimblett finished a tic-tac-toe passing play from the doorstep at 11:42.
The Eagles evened up the shot disparity in the second period, matching the Condors’ 11 in the frame, and also evened up the score when Aaron Slattengren tied the game at 1, 4:50 into the period. The play began at center ice when Aaron Schneekloth picked up a turnover and carried it into the offensive zone. He then found Chad Costello who put the puck on net, resulting in the rebound that Slattengren cleaned up.
Just 32 seconds into the final frame, Bakersfield did what Colorado could not, convert on a man-advantage, when Mathew Sisca’s pass made it through the low slot to Scott Freeman for a quick shot into the Eagles’ net.
Colorado had plenty of time and plenty of chances — they were awarded three power plays in the final half of the third period — to even the score again, but couldn’t get another puck past Keetley. And with Jones pulled for an extra attacker and a two-man advantage in the final minute, Peter Boyd put the puck into the empty net to ice the game.
The Eagles’ next game will come in their own home opener — after playing in two separate ones on consecutive nights — when the Stockton Thunder come to the Budweiser Events Center on Friday, Oct. 21 for the first regular season ECHL game in the building’s history.