Griffith’s OT win propel Condors over Barracuda in 3-2 win

The San Jose Barracuda forward Joachim Blichfeld (86) takes a shot in front of the Bakersfield Condors right winger Seth Griffith (39) at the Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield on Wed Mar 6, 2022 (photo by the San Jose Barracuda)

by Marko Ukalovic

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It was a nice comeback, but the result was still the same.

Seth Griffin scored the game winning goal in overtime to give The Bakersfield Condors a 3-2 overtime victory over the San Jose Barracuda on Wednesday morning.

Griffth’s 23rd goal of the season came at the 1:48 mark in the extra session. Griffith skated in from the blueline and around Joachim Blichfeld and finished off a brilliant play with a backhand shot top shelf past ‘Cuda goalie Alex Stalock.

Despite earning a point, San Jose has lost a season worst eight games in a row with eight games left to play. Bakersfield have won three out of its last four games and sit in fourth place in the Pacific Division with 72 points.

Bakersfield (31-18-5-5) drew first blood in the final minute of the first period with a power play goal. Dylan Holloway set up Yanni Kaldis at the point and the Condors defenseman sent a quick shot past Stalock for his fifth goal of the season at the 19:02 mark.

It was the seventh straight game San Jose (20-36-3-2) has given up a power play goal to the opposing team.

The Condors doubled their lead with a short-handed goal early in the second period. James Hamblin pick pocketed Artemi Kniazev inside the ‘Cuda zone. Hamblin got Stalock to go down before putting a backhander past him for his 18th goal of the season at the 5:08 mark.

San Jose has given up five short-handed goals in their last eight games.

The Barracuda had only three shots in the middle frame as they were outshot 23-10 after 40 minutes.

San Jose cut the lead in half with a power play goal past the halfway mark in the third period. Blichfeld cleaned up a rebound with a hook and drag move in the right slot and snapped home a wrist shot past Condor’s goalie Stuart Skinner for his team leading 23rd goal at the 11:04 mark.

Blichfeld set the single season franchise record for power play goals with 12 as he eclipsed the mark set by Danny O’Regan back in 2011 season.

The Barracuda scored the equalizer late in the third period thanks to a good individual effort by Jayden Halbgewachs. Blichfeld sent a pass up into the Condor’s zone. Halbgewachs made a nice move around Marcus Neimelainen before roofing a shot top shelf past Stuart for his 17th goal of the season at the 15:33 mark.

Stuart (17-4-5) finished the morning stopping 18 of the 20 shots he faced to earn the victory. Stalock (4-6-1) made 34 saves on 37 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished 1-for-5 on the power play. Bakersfield was 1-for-1.

The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Griffith 2) Hamblin 3) Halbgewachs

Stuart is 9-0 against San Jose on home ice.

UP NEXT: San Jose return home to begin a two-game series with the Henderson Silver Knights on Saturday 4/9 at 6:00pm at SAP Center.

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