Condors

Saturday, May 17 2014 11:12 PM

Steffes scores in OT to lift Condors, tie series with Aces

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    By BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News

    Cory Syvert, of the Alaska Aces, goes for the puck as Andrew Carroll, of the Bakersfield Condors, reaches in with his stick on Friday, May 16, 2014 at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, AK. The Aces and Condors face off in the first game of the ECHL's Western Conference finals.

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    By BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News

    Zach McKeivie, of the Alaska Aces, reaches for the puck as Joe Marciano, of the Bakersfield Condors, puts pressure from behind and teammate Joey Leach is ready to pick up the puck in the 2nd game of the ECHL's Western Conference finals on Saturday, May 17 2014 at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, AK.

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    By BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News

    Tyler Mosienko, of the Alaska Aces, swoops in for the puck as Jordan Knackstedt, of the Bakersfield Condors, and Tommy Mele, of the Aces, fight for position in the 2nd game of the ECHL's Western Conference finals on Saturday, May 17 2014 at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, AK.

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BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer mgriffith@bakersfield.com

ANCHORAGE -- Gary Steffes scored three minutes into overtime to life the Condors to a 3-2 victory over Alaska Saturday at Sullivan Arena.

The victory evened the ECHL Western Conference FInals at a game apiece with the next three games in Bakersfield, starting on Friday night.

Related Info

Game 2: Condors 3, Aces 2

Series tied 1-1.

Next game: Friday, 7 p.m. at Rabobank Arena (Radio: KHTY 970 AM)

Steffes ripped a shot past Gerald Coleman from the slot 2:53 into the extra period.

The Aces had rallied from a two-goal deficit with two third-period goals to send the game into overtime.

Jordan Knackstedt and Chris Collins scored second-period goals for the Condors, who could not keep the Aces at bay in the third.

Evan Trupp scored off a deflection for the Aces 5:28 into the third to cut Bakersfield's lead to 2-1 and Brendan Connolly had a bouncing puck land at his skate, kicked it to stick blade, and scored from the right edge of the paint to tie the game with 6:23 left in regulation.

As they have done throughout the playoffs, Alaska kept with it's goalie rotation as Gerald Coleman, who had 19 saves on 22 shots.

Laurent Brossoit had 24 saves for the Condors.

Knackstedt, who had exited the penalty box just a few seconds earlier, scored at 9:55 of the second when he took a feed from Matt Thurber and ripped a wrist shot from between the circles high into the net to put the Condors up 1-0, whose best period was the second.

The turning point appeared to come 4:26 into the second when Condors defenseman Joe Marciano was boarded behind the Bakersfield net by Tommy Mele.

Bakersfield did not score on the subsequent power play, but the Condors ramped up their intensity and the game turned a bit chipper after that hit.

The Condors, who had been on their heels quite a bit before the hit on Marciano, easily killed a penalty Knackstedt, who then got the best retribution with his goal.

Collins scored after a long cycle in the Aces zone. George Hughes sent the puck into the slot where it was deflected into the corner. Greg Miller quickly gained possession and sent a quick pass to Collins, who was in the slot and had a wide-open net in front of him as Coleman had slid out of position.

The Condors trailed in shots 9-5 before Knackstedt's goal and outshot the Aces 8-4 the rest of the way.

The Condors played much of the game down a forward as Ryan Watson appeared to suffer a leg injury after he was tackled in the crease by Sean Curry late in the second period. Watson had to be helped off the ice and did not put weight on his left leg.

The Aces came out strong in the opening period, spending a good deal of the first 10 minutes thanks to quick rushes and an aggressive forecheck which created several turnovers.

The Condors pushed back a bit in the final 10 minutes in a period where shots on goal were hard to come by -- four for Alaska and three for Bakersfield.

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