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CONDORS: Starrett staying level

Netminder is keeping a level head as he awaits Game 4 against the Colorado Eagles

by Paul Gazzola /

BAKERSFIELD, CA - Shane Starrett is staying level.

The Bakersfield Condors netminder understands - even after only three American Hockey League playoff matches - that's it's the only way to ride a playoff series.

The 6-foot-5 backstop owns a 2-1 record in the best-of-five battle with the Colorado Eagles, sporting a 2.37 goals-against average and .896 save percentage. It's not exactly the numbers he was used to during the 2018-19 season when he possessed a 2.33 GAA and .918 SAV% - ranking third and fifth in the League, respectively, among goalies who played 1440 minutes or more - but isn't bent out of shape about it.

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"You got to stay level the whole way through," Starrett said post-practice Friday from Valley Children's Ice Center. "You're going to go through spurts of hot streaks and cold streaks and you got to keep the same mindset through both highs and lows. 

"It's been a good year and I think I've kept the same mentality going day in and day out."

The goaltender was quick to commend Condors Goaltending Coach Sly Rodrigue for keeping him in line.

"Working with Sly has been beneficial going over every game," Starrett said. "He's making sure I'm staying level and when things aren't going my way, he's making sure he's pointing out all the good things I've been doing as well."

Nothing is certain during playoffs and a series can shift at any moment. The Condors experienced the triumph of postseason victory in Game 1 of their circuit with Colorado then felt the sting of a loss in Game 2's 4-1 decision.

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Starrett said he is pleased with how the club has been able to respond on the fly, noting the adjustments made in Game 3.

"I thought we did a good job of first off, limiting their odd-man rushes," he said, "and secondly, handling their odd-man rushes. Playing them with guys on the backcheck coming in hard and not giving them much time and space to work with."

Starrett - along with the rest of the Condors - will try to stay level for Saturday's Game 4 when they have the Eagles on the brink of elimination.

"We know there's going to be a pushback," said Starrett. "It's going to be hard to end a team's season."

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