A patchwork lineup on paper shouldn’t have been much of a match against the top team in the division, but the Bakersfield Condors showed they weren’t about to be overmatched by the Ontario Reign.
Laurent Brossoit put 22 saves on the board Saturday night to hold together the Condors well enough so they could post a 3-0 win over the Reign, the leaders in the AHL’s Pacific Division and the third-place team in the entire league.
“The good sign from tonight is that we were resilient, played hard, and got the two points. Obviously our personnel has changed quite a bit over the past couple of weeks and we have to play a style that’s conducive to our personnel. Right now, getting in on the forecheck, making simple plays, executing the simple plays well is what we talked about before the game and I think we stuck to the game plan.” -Condors head coach Gerry Fleming
Hunt – Pageau
LaLeggia – Musil
Nikitin – Simpson
Hamilton – Khaira – Ford
Christoffer – Yakimov – Slepyshev
Kessy – Platzer – Chase
Moroz – Loiseau – Roy
- Greg Chase, who was called up from ECHL Norfolk to fill one of the holes in the Condors lineup, goes to the penalty box only 1:59 in.
- An easy kill for the Condors, but they go a man down again right away on a goofy call against Braden Christoffer, who was felled going to the net and slid through taking out Ray Emery’s legs.
- Bakersfield’s fourth line gets hemmed in their own end and Los Angeles Kings’ high-end prospect Valentin Zykov puts a shot off the post.
- Condors defenceman Joey LaLeggia gets run over in the corner by the Reign’s Scott Sabourin. It’s nothing new as LaLeggia is a good bet to get freight-trained at least once every game.
- 1-0 CONDORS – Bogdan Yakimov corrals the puck in the corner and seems to be looking for the late trailer, but Ryan Hamilton slides into space and snaps the puck past Emery. — G: Hamilton (5) A: Yakimov, Ford 11:57
- 2-0 CONDORS – The Reign look totally set to clear the zone but the clearing attempt from the corner is inexplicably fired out front of the net, goes off a stick, and right to Kale Kessy who easily taps it in. — G: Kessy (2) unassisted 13:53
- The same thing that resulted in Kessy’s goal nearly happens again, but Yakimov’s quick release is turned away by Emery’s glove.
- Ontario’s Sabourin steams into Dillon Simpson but unlike LaLeggia who was upset with not getting a penalty call, Simpson recovers quickly and clears Sabourin from the front of the net.
— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) November 15, 2015
- Matthew Ford has a chance in front but is in too tight. He’s knocked down by the side of the goal and draws a power play.
- Nothing much on that power play, but the Reign take another penalty and the Condors go right back on the man-advantage. Recent ECHL call-up Alexis Loiseau sees some time on the second unit while Kyle Platzer mans the point as a fourth forward in place of Oilers call-up Andrew Miller.
- After the kills, the Reign get an opportunity as Johnny Brodzinski comes down the wing and pings the crossbar.
- The Condors should have put a third on the board on a great looking play. Antony Slepyshev gets it to Nikita Nikitin who puts through a crowd to Kessy alone in front but his tap in somehow slides right through the crease.
- Platzer can’t put away a tap in. A scrum ensues and the linesmen prevent Ontario’s Ryan Horvat and Bakersfield’s Mitch Moroz from getting at it.
- During the 4-on-4, Ford is in tight again but is foiled by an Emery pokecheck. The whistle blows. The penalty box doors open. Moroz and Horvat step out, drop the gloves, and start throwing bombs right at centre ice. Give the decision to Moroz.
— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) November 15, 2015
- Brossoit loses sight of the puck on a shorthanded dump-in. The puck is behind the net but the Reign can’t do much with the centering pass.
- Yakimov finds a puck in the slot and puts a shot off the outside of the post.
- Loiseau makes a smart steal just outside the Ontario zone and fires a hot shot that Emery gets his blocker on.
- Hamilton steps in front of a point shot for the block but he skates off with an aching right hand.
- Marco Roy, the other ECHL call-up for the Condors and former Oilers’ second-round pick, snares a loose puck at centre, flies in, and wires a shot that Emery gets a piece of.
- 3-0 CONDORS – Ontario pulls Emery with 1:50 left but can’t get anything going before it’s turned over at the Bakersfield blue line, freeing up Braden Christoffer who has nothing but open space and a gaping net for his first professional goal. — G: Christoffer (1) 18:27
Sabourin takes a final run at a Condor on the night and Kessy has had enough. They go at it in front of the benches with Kessy taking the verdict.
“I never want to shy away there and Mitch (Moroz) has been doing a great job at that, too. We have guys in the room that will stand up for anyone. We’re not afraid of anyone and we’re going to play hard.” -Kessy
- Laurent Brossoit
- Ryan Hamilton
- Kale Kessy
“That’s the team we’ve got to be every night. We’ve got to be able to play with a lead and not just give the other team easy goals. We made it way too easy for San Diego (in Wednesday’s 6-1 loss). It was an embarrassing game for us. That’s not the way we can play. We’ve got to play the way we played tonight.” -Kessy
Big bucks: The Condors sported desert camo uniforms for Military Appreciation Night honoring the 200th anniversary of the United States Marine Corps. The post-game jersey auction raised over $20,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Duly noted: While the two situations didn’t yield a big scoring opportunity, two shifts in the second period showed how valuable prospects with size are in the Oilers system. Despite being at the end of a shift, Jujhar Khaira (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) caused a commotion by getting deep into the Ontario zone and causing a turnover. Moments later, Bogdan Yakimov (6-foot-5, 232 pounds) cut hard into the zone and around the defender, went into the corner, and worked some cycle.
From the nest: Josh Winquist, the Condors’ hottest scorer with seven points in eight games, left last Wednesday’s game against San Diego and was obviously limping while walking around the arena on Saturday. Coach Fleming labelled his injury as “long term for now” … Still on the day-to-day injured list are Tyler Pitlick and Phil McRae, and the Condors also did not dress Eetu Laurikainen, Jordan Oesterle and Marin Gernat … Oilers assistant GM and Condors overseer Bill Scott took in the game.