BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – For the second straight night, the Iowa Wild jumped out to a lead only to see their opponent battle back to earn the victory. Friday night, it was the San Diego Gulls, who fell behind 2-0 before winning in overtime, 4-3. Saturday, it was the Bakersfield Condors’ turn, who trailed 2-1 entering the third but scored four unanswered goals on their way to the 5-2 win. Four players recorded two points for the Condors and the Bakersfield defense held Iowa to just 16 shots on net.
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The Condors took the lead 3:07 into the contest on Josh Currie’s 15th goal of the year. While on a 5-on-3 power-play, Tyler Benson passed the puck to Currie near the boards. He sped into the slot, eluding a defender before firing a wrist shot that beat Kaapo Kahkonen to give Bakersfield the early 1-0 lead.
Iowa was struggling to get any kind of offense going, posting just five shots on net in the first, but they were able to get much better pressure in the second. That helped them to take a 2-1 lead.
At 1:21, Luke Johnson fired a shot that Shane Starrett saved, but the rebound came to the right side of the net. That is where Kyle Rau was situated, putting the rebound in for his eighth goal of the year.
Seven minutes later, the Wild took the lead. Brandon Duhaime took the puck behind the goal, then made a great feed in front to Dmitry Sokolov who was positioned right in front of the net. He redirected the puck past the Bakersfield goaltender for his seventh goal of the year. For Sokolov, it was his second point of the night.
This had been a tight-checking affair, as the Condors outshot Iowa 13-12 through the first two periods. However, Bakersfield totally dominated the third frame, not only scoring four goals, but outshooting Iowa, 14-4.
Things changed quickly as Bakersfield scored two goals in a 40-second span less than five minutes into the period. The first goal came at the 3:50 mark. Keegan Lowe blasted a shot from the point that missed the net, but the puck bounced off the end boards and right to Markus Granlund. He simply tapped in the puck into the left corner for his second goal of the year to tie the score at two.
At 4:30, it was Jake Kulevich putting his team back on top. Luke Esposito fired a shot that Kahkonen kicked away toward the left boards. Kulevich gained control then fired a wrist shot through a screen of players that went over the Iowa goaltender’s shoulder to put the Condors on top, 3-2.
With a little under five minutes left in the game, Bakersfield added an insurance goal. Lowe passed the puck along the blueline to Logan Day, who let it bounce off the boards before blasting a one-timer in for his second goal of the season. Colby Cave added an empty-net goal with about three minutes left to seal the victory.
Kulevich, Currie, and Day each had a goal and assist for Bakersfield. Evan Bouchard had two assists for the Condors.
Kahkonen stopped 22 of 26 shots in his first game since returning from the NHL club. Gerald Mayhew saw his franchise record 10-game point streak come to an end. Sam Anas’ seven-game point streak ended as well.
The Iowa Wild remain in Bakersfield to take on the Condors again Tuesday night. The puck drops at 9:00 CT.
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