BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
If there was ever a team that had Bakersfield's number, it is the Ontario Reign.
And that number now stands at 14, as in 14 consecutive wins over the Condors.
The latest came Tuesday night at Rabobank Arena as the Reign never trailed en route to a 5-3 victory, snapping Bakersfield's three-game winning streak.
Bakersfield has not beaten the Reign since opening night last season.
Ontario scored three third-period goals to break open a tie game.
Colten Yellow Horn scored his second goal of the night 40 seconds into the period to make it 3-2; Mario Lamoureux scored at 14:28 and Yellow Horn completed a hat trick with a power-play goal at 15:01.
Jacob Lagace got Bakersfield's final goal with a blast from the left circle with two seconds left.
It was Bakersfield's fourth game in five nights and fatigue appeared to be a factor as the Condors mustered just one solid period -- the second.
"We didn't have a lot of gas. It was obvious," Condors coach Matt O'Dette said. "That was a winnable game. It was ripe for the taking for us. That's what it looked like. We didn't have a ton of legs."
But they did have a tie game, until Yellow Horn's goal early in the third.
"It was the wrong time of the game to definitely give up that one," O'Dette said. "You don't want to give up goals (at) starts of periods. We had tons of momentum going into the break, the second intermission, and we come out like that and give it up. We lost all of it in one shift."
The Condors had opportunities to get that momentum back with back-to-back power plays, starting nine minutes into the period, but generated just two shots.
Bakersfield was 0-for-4 on the power play on Tuesday after going 7-for-22 in the three wins leading into the game.
"We had the momentum coming in. We were feeling good and they capitalized on their chances," O'Dette said. "I don't think we played awful, but we certainly didn't have enough jump to beat a good team like that."
The first period was all Ontario as the Reign outshot the Condors 10-2 and took a 1-0 lead on a Yellow Horn power-play goal with 2:50 left.
The Condors came out with more energy in the second, firing two shots in the opening minute then tying the game 1-1 at the midway point on a Peter Boyd goal. That goal came from the doorstep off a rebound after extensive time in the Reign zone.
The Reign regained a one-goal lead when an odd-man rush led to Kyle Kramer's 11th goal at 15:54.
But before the goal was even announced, the Condors had tied the game as Bobby Lyon scored just seven seconds later, hammering in a rebound from the edge of the crease.
Forward Nicholas Tremblay was named ECHL player of the week after recording four goals and four assists to help the Condors go 3-0 over the weekend. Those were the first three games for Tremblay, who had not played since getting in four games with the Providence (R.I) Bruins of the AHL late last season after ending his college play at Clarkson University (Potsdam, N.Y.).
Not sure if forward Tyler Brenner even made a pit stop in Toronto as he was reassigned to Toledo in the ECHL on Tuesday, a day after Toronto reassigned him from Bakersfield to the Marlies of the American Hockey League. Condors coach Matt O'Dette suspected that was coming and was not happy. "When we agreed to take (Brenner) it was with the understanding if the lockout ended and he was not going to play in the AHL, that he would stay with us," O'Dette said.
Forward Francis Verreault ran his point streak to six games (every game he's played as a Condor) with an assist on Peter Boyd's second-period goal. He has three goals and four assists in the six games. Tremblay assisted on the final goal and has points in four straight.