BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Laurent Brossoit stopped all 31 shots he faced, while Andrew Miller's goal with 1:43 remaining in regulation proved to be the difference as the Bakersfield Condors defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 1-0 Friday at Rabobank Arena.
Tom McCollum stopped 39 of 40 shots on the night, but after Iiro Pakarinen's initial net-crashing effort was saved, Miller won the race to the crease and tapped the rebound into an open net.
The Griffins (0-1-0-0) came the closest to scoring in the opening period when Mitch Callahan's breakaway in the opening minute missed the net on Brossoit's blocker side. Both teams traded penalties early in the game, with the Condors having three abbreviated power plays in the first, while the Griffins had two.
Bakersfield (1-0-0-0) carried the play in the second period, outshooting the Griffins 13-4. The Griffins struggled to get the puck out of their own end, waiting more than six minutes to get their first shot on the Condors goal.
The best scoring chance of the period came when Leon Draisaitl was awarded a penalty shot after being tripped on a breakaway by Brian Lashoff with 4:45 remaining. Draisaitl, the 3rd overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, had his penalty shot turned aside by the right pad of McCollum.
After McCollum was pulled for an extra skater, the Griffins thought they had tied the score with 31 seconds remaining in regulation. Martin Frk set-up Nathan Paetsch for a one-timer from the right point that went wide of Brossoit's near post. Anthony Mantha gathered the puck at the far post and attempted to bank the puck off of Brossoit and in. The call on the ice was no goal, upheld after a lengthy review. Bakersfield would hold on to win their first game since relocating from Oklahoma City.
The Griffins came up short on three power plays while the Condors failed to score on four opportunities.
The Griffins play the last of their back-to-back games in California Saturday, Oct. 10 when they face the San Diego Gulls at Valley View Casino Center at 10:05 p.m. EDT.
Three Stars: 1. BAK Miller (game-winning goal); 2. BAK Brossoit (W, 31 saves, SO); 3. GR McCollum (L, 39 saves, .975 SV%)
Notes: Last night marked the Griffins first game in California since 11/24/04 when the Griffins defeated the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks 4-3 in a shootout at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim...Dylan Larkin became the 149th Griffin to play in an NHL game, recording a goal and an assist in the Detroit Red Wings 4-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.