Thunder Stunned in Bako Comeback
The Thunder fell in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals to the Bakersfield Condors by the final score of 5-3 ending their defense of the 2013-14 Western Conference Championship.
“They are an opportunistic team there is no question, they have guys they can score and proven that all year that they can come from behind,” said Head Coach Rich Kromm. “We were guilty of giving them opportunities and life to get back into it, that’s the bottom line.”
The Thunder got the start they needed as they went up 3-0, with one goal in the first period a two more in the second. However after scoring the third tally, Bakersfield rattled off 5 unanswered goals to secure the win and the spot in the Conference Finals against the Alaska Aces.
Thunder defenseman Marc Cantin got the Thunder off to a good start with the first goal of the night for the second straight game. Forward James Henry skated around the offensive zone avoiding the Bakersfield defenseman, eventually to Cantin on the blueline. The Thunder defenseman then threw the puck at the net, giving the Thunder the early 1-0 lead.
The Thunder then doubled the lead in the second period with their second shorthanded goal of the series. With Bakersfield goaltender Laurent Brossoit behind his net with control of the puck, forward Matt Bergland continued with his forecheck toward the goalie. Brossoit then attempted to pass the puck but misfired, giving Bergland the opportunity to scoop up the puck and wrap it around into the net for the 2-0 lead.
The Thunder offense continued its attack later in the second period as forward Alan Quine connected for the third Thunder goal of the night and the third for him in the playoffs. After the Thunder cleared the puck to the Bakersfield blueline, the Condors defenseman was unable to control the bouncing puck eventually being picked up by Adam Brace.
Brace settled the puck down before passing to centerman Corey Trivino who proceeded toward the net and then dished across the ice to forward Quine who hammered the puck home to give the Thunder the 3-0 lead.
From then on it was all Bakersfield as they collected two goals in the final 3:13 of the second period and tacked on another three goals in the third period, with all third period goals coming from forward Ryan Watson for the natural hat trick.
“The two goals at the end of the second period just started the momentum their way,” said Kromm. “They go bang, bang and make it 3-2 and it’s a different game in a hurry.”
The first tally for Bakersfield came from their captain Joel Broda, who scored the winning goal in last nights contest. Broda was set up on the two on one by forward Jordan Knackstedt for the point-blank shot. Bakersfield’s second goal came from forward Chase Schaber after he was set up by defenseman Erik Burgdoerfer.
Now only trailing one, Watson kicked it into high gear as he struck twice in the span of 2:09. Both tallies forced the Thunder to play from behind for the final 13:14 of the game.
Unfortunately, the Thunder were unable get the offense going in the final period, only managing to compile 3 shots in the final frame, giving the Bakersfield Condors the four games to one win over the Thunder and setting up a Western Conference Finals between Alaska and Bakersfield.
We want to thank all the fans who made their way out to Stockton Arena and we look forward to seeing you next October for our 10th season in the ECHL! We started an amazing new tradition together tonight, created the world’s first fan painted ice, and grew together as a community. Thanks for supporting the team and go Thunder!