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CONDORS: Bakersfield look to stave off elimination in Game 5

Condors return home for pivotal Game 5 against San Diego, aiming to keep their playoff hopes alive down three games to one

by Jamie Umbach /

BAKERSFIELD, CA - Backs against the wall.

The Condors, facing elimination, return to Rabobank Arena on Friday for Game 5 of the AHL Pacific Division Final down 3-1 to the San Diego Gulls.

Video: CONDORS | Post-Game 4 at SD

Keegan Lowe and Ryan Stanton contributed goals from the blue line in Game 4, but the Condors were hindered with seven penalties and a second-period, three-goal setback that sealed last night's 4-2 result in favour of the Gulls.

The Gulls are 4-for-11 with the man advantage in the series and have received steady contributions from Adam Cracknell, who has four goals and four assists in the last three games after missing Game 1. Jeff Glass in goal for San Diego made 26 saves in Friday's win and is 5-2-0 this postseason with a .915 save percentage and 2.47 goals-against average.

Stuart Skinner replaced Shane Starrett after 28 minutes to as the starting point for a controlled final second half of Game 4 that can be a moment of reference in Saturday's elimination game - one of three the Condors will now have to win outright to clinch the series.

"We put our emphasis on the second period on making sure that we took pride in our structure," Condors Head Coach Jay Woodcroft said. "We realized our structure gives us a chance and I thought there were a lot of good things in that third period. We're going to carry those with us into tomorrow night."

"I expect us to flush this game, understand we're going home, to understand that we need to take a Game 7 mindset into tomorrow night. We need our best effort. We're going to get our rest and make sure we come ready to play."

Video: POST-RAW | Jay Woodcroft 05.10.19

The Gulls became the first home team to find a victory on Friday, and carry a 4-0 record on the road this postseason and a slate of 9-0-2 in their last 11 away from home into Bakersfield tonight,

The character of the Condors has shone through this entire season and will be called upon as a rallying tool with the club down three games to one with home ice of Rabobank on its side.

The challenge is steep, but it's one that's embraced by the locker room.

"We're looking forward to it," Stanton said. "The season's on the line and I think we got the group in there to step up. We'll get our rest and be ready to go at seven o'clock [8 PM MDT] tomorrow."

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