Sam Carrick scored two of San Diego’s three power-play goals, Trevor Zegras notched four points in his playoff debut and the Gulls withstood a furious Condors rally to hold on for a 5-3 win in Game 1 of their Pacific Division semifinal series in Bakersfield.
The teams meet in Game 2 of the best-of-three series on Sunday evening in Bakersfield (8:00 ET, AHLTV).
Carrick, who now has 19 goals and 21 assists in 63 career postseason games in the AHL, netted a pair of goals after finishing the regular season with 9-4-13 in his last 10 AHL contests.
Zegras notched three helpers for the first time as a pro before capping the scoring with an empty-net goal with 3.1 seconds left in the contest.
Andrew Agozzino picked up a goal and two assists, Vinni Lettieri added a goal and an assist and Jamie Drysdale added two assists for the Gulls.
Down 3-0 in the third period, the Condors got power-play goals from Brad Malone and Seth Griffith 52 seconds apart to close within 3-2, and after San Diego had restored a two-goal cushion, Tyler Benson‘s goal with 2:31 remaining cut it to 4-3.
Griffith finished the night with a goal and two assists for Bakersfield, while rookie defenseman Max Gildon recorded three helpers.
Lukas Dostal, the 20-year-old Czech netminder making his North American playoff debut, turned aside 39 shots for San Diego. Stuart Skinner made 26 saves in defeat.
Pacific Division Semifinals (best-of-3)
(2) Bakersfield Condors vs. (3) San Diego Gulls
Game 1 – Fri., May 21 – San Diego 5, Bakersfield 3
Game 2 – Sun., May 23 – Bakersfield vs. San Diego, 5:00 PDT
Game 3 – Mon., May 24 – San Diego vs. Bakersfield, 6:00 PDT (if necessary)
— All games at Bakersfield, CA