BY STEPHEN LYNCH Special to The Californian
On a night in which a bobblehead of his likeness was handed out to fans as part of a promotional giveaway, Scott Greenham was anything but shaky in net for the Bakersfield Condors.
The 25-year old goalkeeper played spectacularly, stopping 44 shots. But unfortunately for the Condors it wasn't enough as they lost 1-0 to the Ontario Reign on a late goal Saturday night at Rabobank Arena
With just 4:23 left in the game, Mario Lamoureux took a pass from behind the net from Derek Couture and fired a short-rang shot into the back of the net to decide the hard-hitting battle between Pacific Division rivals.
"He was awesome," Condors' coach Matt O'Dette said of Greenham. "He was unbelievable. We let him down there at the end. We were lazy getting back into our zone and the game's over. They scored just from one lazy play."
Despite the loss, the Condors remain six points behind the San Francisco Bulls for the ECHL's Western Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.
The Bulls lost 6-2 to the Alaska Aces on Saturday night.
The Condors could have pulled to within four points had they been able to found a way to take down the Reign for a second straight night.
"It's a tough one to lose," O'Dette said. "Our playoff lives are on the line and we battled hard. Obviously this was a prison-rules game out there. To give up the goal we gave up, we worked too hard to give that one up. It's frustrating."
Greenham had 33 saves in keeping Ontario off the scoreboard through the first two periods.
However, the Condors couldn't take advantage of his stellar play, failing to net a goal on 13 shots during that timespan.
Dustin Carlson made 18 saves en route to his first shutout of the season.
Carlson, making just his eighth appearance of the year, was playing in place of Chris Carrozzi, who was injured late in the third period of Friday night's game between Ontario and Bakersfield.
The loss marks the second time this week/season Bakersfield has been held scoreless.
"When they have that goal tender in the net, they defend extra hard for him," O'Dette said. "And we didn't do the things we needed to do to get pressure and get opportunities at the net. That's it, plain and simple. You have to get inside the perimeter. You got to get to the net. And we didn't do that enough."
The Reign out-shot Bakersfield 20-4 during a physical first period that featured a fight plus between Ontario's Mario Lamoureux and the Condors' Tyler Maxwell plus several other minor skirmishes Most of the Reign's shot attempts came during its two power plays of the period.
The Condors were 0-for-1 on the power play in the opening frame.
The Condors return to action on Wednesday, when play the first of two home games against the Utah Grizzlies.
Bakersfield has only eight remaining regular season games, five of which will be played at Rabobank Arena.