Maxime Comtois scored four minutes, 20 seconds into the fourth overtime early Saturday to give the San Diego Gulls a 3-2 victory over the Bakersfield Condors in Game 1 of the Pacific Division finals in Bakersfield.
Comtois took a pass from Kevin Roy in the left faceoff circle, skated toward the goal, and just before tripping and falling to the ice, put a shot past Shane Starrett to end the fifth longest game in the history of the American Hockey League, which began play in 1936.
Simon Benoit was also credited with an assist.
The game ended at 12:20 a.m., five hours, 10 minutes after it began.
The Gulls NHL parent team, the Anaheim Ducks, announced on Friday they had assigned Comtois, a 20-year-old left wing, and center Isac Lundestrom to the Gulls.
Comtois had been playing with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, whose season ended April 28 with a loss in the semifinals of the President’s Cup playoffs. He played four games with the Gulls and 10 with the Ducks during the regular seasons.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Saturday evening, also in Bakersfield
The Gulls tied the score for the second time with 15:27 left in third period when Sam Carrick took a pass from Ben Street near the left goal post and put a shot past Starrett for his third goal of the playoffs.
Bakersfield had regained the lead 11 seconds earlier when Joe Gambardella put a rebound of a shot by Patrick Russell into the net for his second goal of the playoffs. Brad Malone was also credited with an assist.
Following a scoreless first period, Malone opened the scoring 12:09 into the second period with a shorthanded goal. The Gulls tied the score 32 seconds into the third period on Justin Kloos’ unassisted power-play goal off a turnover.
The Gulls led in shots, 56-53, including a 31-25 advantage in the overtimes before a crowd at Rabobank Arena announced at 6,524.
Gulls goaltender Jeff Glass made 51 saves, Starrett 53 for the Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate.
The Gulls scored on one of their two power-play opportunities and killed both of the Condors, including one in the first overtime following Max Jones’ high-sticking penalty.
Lundestrom did not take a shot. The 19-year-old had been playing with Lulea HF of the Swedish Hockey League after playing 12 games with the Gulls and 15 with the Ducks.
Updated at 2 a.m., Saturday, May 4, 2019
— City News Service