Condors

Tuesday, May 27 2014 12:00 AM

Condors in hole going back to Anchorage

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    A shot by Alaska's Andy Taranto beats Condors goalie Laurent Brossoit over his left shoulder in the second period, to give the Aces a 2-0 lead. Alaska dominated the Condors, scored a 4-0 victory Sunday at Rabobank Arena and sent the series back to their ice in Anchorage with a 3-2 lead.

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  2. 2 of 5

    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    A shot by Alaska's Zach McKelvie is blocked by Condors goalie Laurent Brossoit in the second period. Joey Leach arrives to safeguard the rebound. Alaska dominated the Condors, scored a 4-0 victory Sunday at Rabobank Arena and sent the series back to their ice in Anchorage with a 3-2 lead.

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  3. 3 of 5

    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Andy Taranto (29) and Nick Mazzolini celebrate Taranto's goal in the second period that gave Alaska a 2-0 lead. Alaska dominated the Condors, scored a 4-0 victory Sunday at Rabobank Arena and sent the series back to their ice in Anchorage with a 3-2 lead.

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  4. 4 of 5

    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Things get nasty in front of the Condors goal in the second period, as the Condors object to Ross Ring-Jarvi's aggressiveness against goalie Laurent Brossoit. Ring-Jarvi (14) drew a peanlty. Alaska dominated the Condors, scored a 4-0 victory May 26 at Rabobank Arena and sent the series back to their ice in Anchorage with a 3-2 lead.

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  5. 5 of 5

    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Condor Erik Burgdoerfer is called for a penalty as he and George Hughes (7) tries to clear Alaska's Tommy Mele from the puck. The call was not well received by coach Troy Mann. Alaska dominated the Condors, scored a 4-0 victory Sunday at Rabobank Arena and sent the series back to their ice in Anchorage with a 3-2 lead.

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BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer mgriffith@bakersfield.com

The task is Herculean: Go to Anchorage and beat the Alaska Aces.

The Condors did that in their last game there on May 17.

Related Info

UPCOMINGGAMES

Alaska leads series 3-2.

Game 6, today at 8:15 p.m.

Game 7, if necessary, Wednesday at 8:15 p.m.

All games on KHTY 970 AM.

If they can do so again tonight, they will stay alive in the ECHL Western Conference Finals and force a Game 7 on Wednesday.

If not, the season ends six wins short of the ultimate goal -- the Kelly Cup.

Bakersfield had the opportunity to take command of the series after taking a 2 games to 1 lead with a victory at home on Friday night.

But the Aces came back with three goals in the first four minutes on Saturday night and steamrolled the Condors that night and Sunday, outscoring them 8-1 to take a 3-2 series lead.

"The good news is, I think the best two games of the series for us were up there," Condors coach Troy Mann said. "We just have to refocus here and make sure we're ready to go."

The Aces have the best winning percentage in the ECHL during the regular season, lead the league in scoring (3.42 goals per game) in the playoffs, have allowed the fewest goals in the playoffs (2.31 per game) and have not lost two straight games to the same team at home this season.

"I'm sure that everybody is counting us out and everybody thinks the series is over and that might not be a bad thing for us to go up there and get on the road and play more of our brand of hockey," Mann said.

That brand of hockey didn't happen much over the three-game set in Bakersfield and was non-existent on Sunday night.

"We were arguably the most disciplined team in the playoffs going into this series," Mann said. "We took 19 minors as a team team going into this series.

The Condors took 13 minor penalties alone on Sunday night and eight on Saturday night. Fifteen of those were on defensemen.

"I talked to (Idaho coach) Brad Ralph, who thought the No. 1 reason they lost the (semifinals 4 games to 1 to Alaska) is their D got too involved and too undisciplined. The same thing has happened to us. (Erik) Burgdoerfer, (Joey) Leach and and (Collin) Bowman had seven minors between them on Sunday.

"That's not the only reason (for Bakersfield's troubles), but it is why the series has turned."

Which means the Aces have got under the Condors' collective skins.

"Yeah," admitted Mann. "There is a level of frustration. Not many guys in (the Condors locker room) have won championships and the pressure has built a little. We haven't faced a tremendous amount of adversity in the two previous rounds. Things have gone our way.

"We're playing the best team in the league. They're playing like they've won before, and have been there before."

Mann said the Condors have to use Monday's long travel day to Anchorage to their advantage: Rest, recharge and refocus.

Then go out and play their best game of the season.

"I met with the captains (after Sunday's game) and let them know I need their support and stepping up as the leaders. We've come too far to quit. We're two wins away from the Kelly Cup Finals."

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