By MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
If the rest of the Condors had played as well as goaltender Scott Greenham, this would have been no contest.
But Greenham can only stop the puck. He needs the rest of the team to generate some goals.
Greenham tied the ECHL's top mark for saves this season with 51 on Friday night but it wasn't enough as the Condors fell 3-1 to the Colorado Eagles before 6,670 at Rabobank Arena.
While Greenham was doing everything in his power to try to help get the Condors (13-31-4) into playoff contention, the rest of the team didn't produce enough energy to light a 60-watt bulb.
"They came to play; they were in our face the whole game," Condors coach Matt O'Dette said of Colorado, which outshot the Condors 54- 17.
But shouldn't the Condors, playing at home before the third-largest crowd of the season and needing a win at all costs, have been the more desperate team? Shouldn't they have been the team dictating play and imposing their will?
"Their work ethic was high, our didn't match it," O'Dette said. "The work we put in wasn't smart work. You can't win a game like that.
"We have lots of skill guys, quote unquote, that try to be too skilled and we don't have enough guys that hit. That's part of our problem. Right now our skill guys aren't making the plays and we don't have that physical play to back it up when the skills guys don't have it going."
Which leaves Greenham as exposed as a target in a shooting galley.
The Condors were outshot 20-6 in the first period yet escaped with a 1-0 lead, thanks to a power-play goal by Nicholas Tremblay 17:32 into the period. He scored on Bakersfield's fourth shot of the game.
Colorado tied the game with a power-play goal by Steve Hadden 6:41 into the second and 11 seconds later the Eagles were up 2-1 after Dylan Hood skated around a Bakersfield defender and pushed the puck past Greenham form the edge of the crease.
The Condors mustered just five shots in the second period yet were still a goal away from tying the game heading to the third, when they generated just six shots.
Colorado put the game away with 40 seconds left on an empty-net goal by Kevin Ulanski.
The 17 total shots by Bakersfield tied a season low.
"Tonight there was just a lot of individual players, guys trying to do it all themselves," O'Dette said. "Do too much, force things, take extended shifts. When guys are doing that it's me, me, me, me instead of what the team needs to do to win.
"In a game like tonight where we're having trouble getting things going you have to simplify.
"You have to start from the drawing board: get pucks deep and go to work. One simple shift at a time. An offensive zone shift and build and build and build. We didn't do that. We rarely put two quality shifts together."
Forward Jacob Lagace will return to the lineup tonight after serving a five-game suspension for flipping a puck into the stands after a overtime loss in Ontario on Jan. 21.
Peter Boyd had his six-game goal streak and nine-game point streak snapped.
Francis Verreault played sparingly after a second-period hit which left him hobbled.