Salmon Kings won’t use refereeing as an excuse

ECHL playoffs continue in Bakersfield Friday and Saturday

Bruising Salmon King Tommy Maxwell fends off Josh Burrows of the Bakersfield Condors in Game 2 of the opening round best-of-five series at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Tuesday. Bakersfield won 6-3. The series is tied at one win apiece and continues Friday

Bruising Salmon King Tommy Maxwell fends off Josh Burrows of the Bakersfield Condors in Game 2 of the opening round best-of-five series at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Tuesday. Bakersfield won 6-3. The series is tied at one win apiece and continues Friday

Following the Victoria Salmon Kings’ 6-3 loss to the Bakersfield Condors on Tuesday night Adam Taylor took the high road while Milan Gajic steered clear.

Fans were outraged with the refereeing during the ECHL Kelly Cup playoff game, the second of the Condors’ and Salmon Kings’ best-of-five series.¬†Tied at one win apiece, the series continues in Bakersfield for Game 3 on Friday.

“The best thing to do is shut your mouth and go out and kill it,” Taylor said of taking a penalty.

“The refs are doing their best out there and so are we. It’s a five game series for a reason, its the playoffs and there’s going to be adversity.

“Our guys will come back hard for Game 3.”

Penalties and the score were in Victoria’s favour until Matt Butcher slammed into Condors’ goalie Brian Stewart at 9:59 of the halfway mark of the game.

It led to a scrap between Butcher and Bobby Robins but the Condors didn’t capitalize on the goaltender interference powerplay. The Kings did, however, have to fight off a 5-on-3 for 80 seconds in the second and then two straight slashing penalties in the third period to Gajic and Rob Hennigar, both of which were questionable in terms of contact made.

Pascal Morency scored on both powerplays and then followed up with a 5-on-5 goal for a natural hat trick to put Bakersfield up 5-2.

Ryan Dingle brought the Kings’ within two when he scored an unassisted breakaway goal with less than four minutes remaining.

“I can’t comment (on the refereeing),” Gajic said. “I said some things a couple of years ago that got me in trouble.

“It’s the playoffs and all we want is to get closer to a championship.”

Games 4 is Saturday and if necessary, Game 5 on Monday.

Gajic said finishing the series in Bakersfield won’t be a disadvantage for the Samlon Kings.

“We haven’t been using home as an advantage this year. We’ll be comfortable on the road.”