During the regular season Bakersfield was the best team in the Pacific Division. During the post-season San Diego has been the best team in the Pacific Division.
The Gulls took a 3-1 lead in their Calder Cup Playoffs series against the Condors with a 4-2 win on Friday night at Pechanga Arena.
Gulls center Adam Cracknell scored a pair of goals and goalie Jeff Glass rebounded from allowing seven goals in a loss on Wednesday night to stop 26 of the 28 shots he faced. It also helped that the Condors lost their composure.
Bakersfield kept committing penalties, putting San Diego on the power play seven times. The Gulls scored on two of them, which turned out to be the difference in the game (the Condors went 0-3 with a man advantage).
Sam Carrick and Kevin Roy got the other two goals for San Diego, who now have a golden opportunity to advance to the Western Conference Final. Game 5 of the series is back in Bakersfield on Saturday night.
That means the busses will be arriving in the wee hours of Saturday morning and as we saw last weekend San Diego is deeper and in better physical condition.
Friday night’s Game 1 went to four overtimes before the Gulls won in a game that went past midnight. They turned around and won Game 2 later that same day because they had fresher legs. If that is the case again then the Gulls will come back to San Diego with a chance to win their first American Hockey League Western Conference championship.
If not then Game 6 would be on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Pechanga Arena.