(Bakersfield, CA) - Evan Stoflet's blast from between the circles with just under 14 minutes left in the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Bakersfield Condors held off the Idaho Steelheads, 2-1, Tuesday night at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield. The loss spoiled a solid professional debut in net for Kris Westblom, who turned aside 28 of 30 Condor shots for the Steelheads. Idaho had a chance to get on the board early when Slava Trukhno was given a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for spearing, but the normally-potent Steelhead power play was stymied for the full five minutes by Bakersfield's penalty kill as the two teams would skate to a scoreless first period. Bakersfield got on the board in the second, as Joey Ryan's shot from the blue line found its way through traffic to the back of the net at 7:53 of the period. His fifth of the season gave the Condors a 1-0 lead through two periods. Stoflet's goal at 6:02 of the third gave the Condors a two-goal lead and Bakersfield seemed firmly in control. But the Steelheads found some life late when Kael Mouillierat fed Mark Derlago between the circles and Derlago ripped a shot over the shoulder of Brian Stewart to cut Bakersfield's lead to 2-1. Derlago's 33rd was also assisted by Evan Barlow, who now has 41 points in 27 games this season. Idaho (29-19-12, 68 points) would generate more pressure, but not the game-tying goal, as Bakersfield (32-25-3, 67 points) took the win to crawl within one point of Idaho in the ECHL's Western Conference standings. Stewart was outstanding in net for Bakersfield, stopping 33 of 34 Idaho shots. Westblom took the loss in his professional debut for Idaho. Neither Idaho (0-2) nor Bakersfield (0-1) converted a power-play tally. Idaho will travel to Ontario Tuesday night for a Wednesday-night matchup against the Reign. The game begins at 8 PM (Mtn) with the pre-game show starting at 7:50 on KTIK (1350 AM). The Steelheads return home on Wednesday, March 23, to begin "Pink in the Rink" Week against the Ontario Reign. The Steelheads will wear specially-themed pink jerseys that will be auctioned off to raise money to fund the battle against breast cancer. The two teams play Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Tickets are available at www.idahosteelheads.com or by calling 208.331.TIXS. COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Mark Derlago AQUAFINA THREE STARS 1) Evan Stoflet (BAK) 2) Joey Ryan (BAK) 3) Brian Stewart (BAK)
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