Corey Tropp scored one minute, 44 seconds into overtime to give the San Diego Gulls a 6-5 victory over the Bakersfield Condors Wednesday night at Valley View Casino Center, completing a comeback from a three-goal, third period deficit.
With both teams playing with three skaters, two fewer than normal, under the American Hockey League’s overtime rules, Brandon Montour and Shea Theodore passed in the defensive zone to trigger a Tropp rush on left wing. Tropp burst past the Bakersfield defense and put a shot past Condors goaltender Eetu Laurikainen for his 15th goal of the season.
The Gulls (37-22-3-2) tied the score with 12:36 left in regulation on Theodore’s goal off Matt Bailey’s assist. Chris Mueller and Mike Sgarbossa scored earlier in the third period to cut Bakersfield’s 5-2 lead to 5-4.
Anton Slepyshev scored twice in the first period, with the first coming on a power play, to give the Condors, the Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate, a 2-0 lead. Bakersfield increased its lead to 3-0 on Josh Currie’s shorthanded goal 2:58 into the second period.
The Gulls got back-to-back goals from Montour and Antoine Laganiere in the second period, cutting the deficit to 3-2, but the Condors (28-27-6-2) regained a three-goal lead on goals by Mitch Moroz and Matthew Ford, with Ford scoring on the power play.
Goaltender Ryan Faragher made 37 saves in his first game with the Gulls since Dec. 11. Matt Hackett was supposed to start, but was scratched less than an hour before the game due to illness.
Faragher was recalled from the Utah Grizzlies, the Gulls ECHL affiliate Friday, after the Anaheim Ducks, the Gulls NHL parent team, recalled goaltender Anton Khudobin.
Laurikainen made 44 saves.
The Gulls scored on two of four power-play opportunities, with Montour scoring in the second period and Sgarbossa in the third. Bakersfield was two of three on the power play
The Gulls were assured of a berth in the Calder Cup playoffs before the game ended because of the San Jose Barracuda’s 4-3 overtime loss to the San Antonio Rampage.
The victory was the Gulls second when trailing after two periods. The are 2-18-1-0 when trailing after two periods.
—City News Service