CONDORS: Bakersfield looks to take series stranglehold in Game 2
The Condors are back in playoff action against the Colorado Eagles for Game 2, looking to take a 2-0 series stranglehold to Bakersfield
LOVELAND, CO - Playoff hockey.
There's nothing quite like it and the Bakersfield Condors are having a ball so far at The After Party, also known as the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs.
After skating away with a 3-2 victory in Game 1 of their Pacific Division Semifinal showdown versus the Colorado Eagles, the nascent Condors seek gripping a stranglehold on Saturday in the best-of-five series when the two clubs claw it out in Game 2.
You can watch tonight's game on AHL Live or listen on Fox Sports 970 AM.
"It came down to the fact that we made one more play than they did," said Condors Head Coach Jay Woodcroft of Game 1. "We know that to have any type of success tonight, we're going to have to raise our level even more."
For Caleb Jones, the first game of professional postseason hockey came as advertised. It was competitive, tight and above all, amusing.
"It was definitely an intense game," he said. "I had a blast. It was fun and it was nice to get the win."
The defender had an idea of what to expect from watching his brother, Columbus Blue Jackets defender Seth Jones, sweep the Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"In the first 10 minutes, for some of us it was our first game and we were trying to get a feel for it," Jones, who had one assist and logged over 22 minutes of playing time, said.
"I kind of knew, watching even my brother's (Columbus defenceman Seth Jones) series there against Tampa that it was going to be hard, heavy and desperate hockey."
It doesn't matter where they're situated. Condors hockey remains unchanged in every setting it enters, and that was evident in Friday's grudge match.
The Condors were the only AHL Division winners to nab a playoff win on Friday and did so on the road. Playing the part of road warriors is something the club has fostered since the beginning of the season and is benefitting them in their playoff campaign.
"For us, Condors hockey can be successful up in Hudson Bay, it can be successful in Timbuktu, it can be successful at home in Rabobank Arena or on the road in any American Hockey League arena," said Woodcroft.
"We feel it's not about where we play, it's about how we play. If we play towards our identity and if we play towards our structure, we think we have a chance to win every night."
Bakersfield secured 21 wins at home and on the road during the '18-19 regular season, scoring 127 times at Rabobank Arena and 115 away from their home barn.
"Our game travels wherever we go," said Jones. "If it's a good environment or if there are not many people in the building, we think every night we come out, we try to play the same way.
"We play hard and heavy hockey and last night we showed that."