By Mike Griffith
Californian Staff Writer
Copyright (c) The Bakersfield Californian
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Following up on a 5.1 tremor located about 25 miles southwest of Bakersfield shortly after noon, Brad Mehalko brought the house down at Rabobank Arena Saturday night when he scored 25 seconds into overtime.
The dramatic 4-3 win before 6,006 wildly enthusiastic fans, sends the ECHL West Division playoff series to a deciding Game 5 in Anchorage on Monday night.
The game-winning goal was the second on the night for Mehalko, who ended a 13-game goalless streak in a big way.
“We got in there and were pressing hard and the puck went behind the net,” Mehalko said. “They coughed it up to Jamesy (Connor James). He shot it. I just followed it up and put it on my backhand.”
At that time, Aces goaltender Peter Aubry, who vacated his crease to play the puck, was down on the ice and scrambling to get back into the net.
“I just wanted to make sure I got it on the net,” Mehalko said. “There were guys (Aces players) in the net and it still went in. It was unreal.”
The Aces played without leading scorer and National Hockey League star Scott Gomez who suffered what appeared to be a pelvis injury.