By: Ben Leonard
SAN JOSE, Calif. —
Donning their new orange and black jerseys, the San Jose Barracuda (3-5-0-1) resembled the Philadelphia Flyers, but the Bakersfield Condors (4-5-0-1) were the only ones flying at the SAP Center, soaring to a 6-2 victory. Five different Condors scored while the Barracuda squandered an early lead, and then some in a crazy first period, handing the Barracuda their fifth loss in their last six games.
Before most of the announced crowd of 3,009 settled into their seats at the SAP Center, the Barracuda found themselves up 1-0, thanks to Jeremy Langlois’ second goal of the young season. For your viewing pleasure:
Good things happen when we wear orange. 👍 pic.twitter.com/9rEraKwNXu
— San Jose Barracuda (@sjbarracuda) November 8, 2015
However, his goal didn’t come without some suspense — it took a replay review to confirm his goal. The Barracuda were dominating the possession battle in the early going, holding the puck on the Condors’ side of the ice for most of the first five minutes. Bakersfield wasn’t able to muster their first shot until seven minutes into the contest. Head coach Frank Somner: “That’s the start we were looking for.”
However, the tide turned quickly towards the Condors after they took their first shot, even when it seemed like the tide had swamped them. They were shorthanded after forward Mitch Moroz was called for boarding ‘Cuda defender Julius Bergman at 14:24, but that didn’t phase Bakersfield, who quickly tied the game up at 1-1 after a miscue by ‘Cuda goalie Aaron Dell. Instead of freezing the puck, Dell tried to put the puck behind the net for his defense, but Bakersfield left-winger Ryan Hamilton came back around and put it through the wickets to light up the lamp for his fourth goal of the season.
Bakersfield would quickly add another goal to take a 2-1 lead after another turnover behind the Barracuda’s net. This time Jujhar Khaira slammed one home. Then just to add to the craziness of the first period, Barracuda captain Bryan Lerg crashed to top-shelf a rebounded shot for his fourth goal of the season to tie the game at two apiece, a lead that only held for two minutes. Bakersfield winger Matthew Ford killed the Barracuda’s momentum with *another* battle behind Dell’s net that ended up lighting the lamp, giving the Condors a 3-2 lead heading into the second period (when the Condors really started to take flight), enough to knock Dell out from behind the net.
His replacement, Troy Grosenick, didn’t get any better results the rest of the way than Dell did in the first. It’s not like his team was doing him any favors, making it easy for Bakersfield with an onslaught of penalties, giving them three separate power plays in the period. He did his best to limit the damage, saving 13 of Bakersfield’s 15 shots in the second, but he let two sneak past him. Both were scored from the left face-off circle by two players who hadn’t scored all season, first defender David Musil five minutes in, and then three minutes later, Kyle Platzer gave the Condors a comfortable 5-2 lead heading into the final period.
Sommer on his team’s lackadaisical performance:
“We just weren’t clicking on all eight cylinders….I was excited to see how they were going to come out…but I don’t think we were ready to play”
The Barracuda tried to mount a rally in the third, but couldn’t get anything going. With a 5-2 lead, the Condors could afford to play a little more conservatively, and locked down the ‘Cuda, with Khaira adding a late insurance goal, beating Grosenick for his second of the game.
The ‘Cuda outshot the Condors throughout the game (42-32), especially in the early going (21-14 with 14:45 left in second), but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Sommer said he wasn’t going to let the goaltenders “off the hook” for their performance today. Captain Bryan Lerg maintained that change had to come from “the players,” not just their head coach.
SAP Center hasn’t been too kind to the ‘Cuda, who have only picked up one win in six games at home. So much for home ice advantage…Michael Haley is now on recall with the San Jose Sharks….Bryan Lerg, Nikolay Goldobin, and Mark Cundari were loaned to the ‘Cuda after the Sharks’ game on Saturday…