Colorado's Playoff Run Ends in 5-2 Loss to Condors in Game Four
BAKERSFIELD, CA. - Colorado forward Martin Kaut netted two goals in the second period, but it would not be enough, as the Bakersfield Condors scored four unanswered in the third period to defeat Colorado 5-2 in Game Four on Saturday. The victory gives the Condors a 3-1 series win, as they now advance to face the San Diego Gulls in the Division Finals.
The first period saw Bakersfield outshoot Colorado 12-9 and was highlighted by a series of big hits and a fight between Eagles forward A.J. Greer and Condors defenseman Keegan Lowe. Each team earned one power play in the opening 20 minutes but neither team would be able to capitalize, and the contest would head to the first intermission still scoreless.
Bakersfield would earn the game's first goal when forward Mitch Callahan took advantage of a breakaway and slid a shot from the low-slot past Eagles goalie Pavel Francouz to give the Condors a 1-0 edge just 4:05 into the second period.
Colorado would strike back when Kaut intercepted a pass at the bottom of the right circle and skated to the top of the crease before throwing a backhander into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1 at the 8:16 mark of the middle frame.
As time ticked down in the second period, and with the Eagles on the power play, Kaut would deflect a pass in the low slot past Bakersfield goalie Shane Starrett to give Colorado a 2-1 advantage with less than a second remaining on the clock.
The Condors would utilize a shot from the blue line on the power play from Evan Bouchard to tie things up at 2-2 just 2:22 into the third period. Less than seven minutes later it would be Bakersfield's penalty kill that would strike when a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush culminated in a goal from the left-wing circle for forward Patrick Russell at the 9:05 mark of the final frame. The goal made it 3-2 for the Condors and would spring another quick tally when a shot from the circle pinballed off Condors forward Brad Malone to make it 4-2 with 9:06 left in regulation.
Still trailing by a pair late in the contest, the Eagles would pull Francouz in favor of the extra attacker but it would end up with Bakersfield forward Luke Esposito burying an empty-netter to cap off the 5-2 score at the 19:07 mark of the third period.
Colorado was outshot in the contest 31-26, as the Eagles went 1-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. Francouz finished the night making 26 saves on 30 shots, while Starrett turned aside 24 of the 26 shots he faced.
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