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CONDORS: Leadership group stands out during learning experience

"Our leadership says all the right things on the bench. There's a real calmness about them and we just got back to getting down to work," said Jay Woodcroft on going down early in Game 2

by Tony Brar /

BAKERSFIELD, CA - It only took 2:22 to see Game 2's opening tally.

Unfortunately for the Condors, it was from a Colorado stick.

Julien Nantel deposited his first goal of the postseason. With the early marker, Bakersfield was forced to play catch up for the rest of the night, eventually dropping Game 2 and their lead in the series.

However, the loss didn't come without a learning experience. The Condors' leadership group responded in a way that Head Coach Jay Woodcroft believes will trickle throughout the rest of the series.

"We have great leadership and we really liked the way we started the game," said the bench boss following Monday's practice. "They just happened to score on one of those moments with a faceoff. But our leadership says all the right things on the bench. There's a real calmness about them and we just got back to getting down to work.

"This entire year, we've just found ways to win games in different fashions. We've won games getting a lead in the first period and we've come from behind. That starts with our leadership. They don't lead from their throat, they lead with their actions and doing it right every day."

Video: RAW | Jay Woodcroft 04.22.19

As part of the core leadership group, one could bet that Joe Gambardella spearheaded some of these conversations in Game 2. As competitive as the 5-foot-10 forward is, he's never been shy from taking a learning experience for what it is.

"It's knowing that we're getting those opportunities (offensively)," said Gambardella on playing from behind in Game 2. "We'd be worried if we weren't getting those chances. We were able to make grade-A chances happen. We just weren't able to quite connect on them. So be it, that's the way the playoffs are going to go - one lucky bounce here, one lucky bounce there. You just got to know that there's going to be another shift coming, there's going to be another game coming.

"Whatever you have to do to get back at it, you've just got to stick with it. You can't give up."

Added Tyler Vesel on the leadership group in Game 2: "Our captains were doing the best they could do to keep us on our game. I thought we eventually took over for a while. We were outshooting them by quite a bit throughout the second and third periods. We just have to stick to our game if that happens and not get in that funk."

Video: CONDORS | First for Bakersfield 04.22.19

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