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Condors Clip Eagles in First Battle of the Birds

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 Keetle [1]y . Kyle Jones [2] 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 [3]  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 [4] tied the game at 1, 4:50 into the period. The play began at center ice when Aaron Schneekloth [5] picked up a turnover and carried it into the offensive zone. He then found Chad Costello [6] 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 [7] 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 [8] 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.