No Playoffs in Condorstown?


If the Bakersfield Condors don’t make the AHL playoffs, and it’s looking a little bleak now, they will look back at Tuesday night’s game against the Ontario Reign with a lot of disgust.

It was the game in-hand the Condors had over the San Jose Barracuda, the team they are pursuing for the fourth spot in the Pacific Division trailing by two points and .008 in the all-important winning percentage statistic.

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The Condors fell behind big early on, their goaltender gave up a back-breaking bad goal, and they couldn’t finish off a decent number of scoring chances all in a 5-2 loss to the division-leading Reign. 





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Simpson – Hunt

LaLeggia – Musil

Betker – Pageau


Klinkhammer – Khaira – Pitlick

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Hamilton – McRae – Boychuk

Ford – Yakimov – Slepyshev

Roy – Currie – Winquist


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  • Anton Slepyshev is tackled just before hitting the Ontario blue line by Michael Mersch. No call.
  • Three shifts in and the Khaira line has been on twice, both times against the Reign line centered by Kris Newbury.

1-0 Reign – David Musil and Zach Boychuk both bumble the puck at the circle, leaving it for Joel Lowry and he makes no mistake with a hot shot that beats Niklas Lundstrom in Bakersfield net. GOAL: Lowry (2) ASSISTS: Crescenzi, Leslie 3:20

2-0 – Mersch snares the puck the corner and fires in front of net. Joey LaLeggia blows his assignment allowing Jonny Brodzinski to whip it past Lundstrom only 28 seconds after Ontario had taken the lead. G: Brodzinski (12) A: Mersch, Gravel 3:48

  • Slepyshev takes a bad angle shot that goes off the side of the net. The puck winds up in front of the net, but Matthew Ford can’t get much on his effort.
  • Josh Currie and Josh Winquist go in 2-on-1 for the Condors. Currie keeps and is stopped by Peter Budaj.
  • The Condors put some pressure on in the Ontario zone. At first, a long-range try from Philip McRae is all they can muster, but Boychuk creates a turnover and Ryan Hamilton gets a shot that Budaj handles.

3-0 – Things look to be improving for Lundstrom as he gets his blocker on a shot but the Condors fail to clear the zone. A long shot from the point is tipped at the bottom of the circle by Ryan Horvat and it sails by the Condors goalie. GOAL: Horvat (5) ASSISTS: Raine, Leitner 11:34

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  • Ford wants to get things stirred up. He bangs Zach Leslie behind the Ontario net and makes an attempt at dropping the gloves as they come back up ice but nice dice.

3-1 – Bakersfield finally gets something going, and it’s a nifty effort from the fourth line. Winquist neatly puts the puck to Currie just inside the Ontario end. Currie dangles around a waving stick-check from Adrian Kempe, strides into the slot, and guns it through Budaj’s legs. GOAL: Currie (6) ASSISTS: Winquist, LaLeggia 13:03

  • The Condors have some life after the goal. Hunt fires two point shots wide. Klinkhammer and Khaira throw simultaneous big hits. Klinkhammer winds up taking a high-sticking penalty but the Reign don’t get a shot.
  • Klinkhammer causes a turnover behind the Reign net. Tyler Pitlick had more time than he thought and his quick toss out front is swept away.
  • Winquist winds up with the puck high in the slot and goes high but Budaj flashes the glove.


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  • Only 15 seconds into the period and the Condors get a PP when Boychuk is dumped behind the net. Hunt plays the puck to net but Hamilton can’t stuff it in. Late in the advantage, Slepyshev has his long wrister go off Budaj’s blocker.
  • Right after the kill, the Reign toss a long shot at the net that Lundstrom turns into an adventure, though it’s a brief one as Ontario’s two pokes at the puck are weak.
  • Lundstrom makes a good stop on a high backhander in tight from Brodzinski.
  • Khaira comes down the wing with speed and eyes Klinkhammer headed to the net. “The Colonel” is hauled down on the Condors go back on the power play.
  • Behind the Khaira gets the puck and decided to go for a wraparound try. His backhander goes high off Budaj’s arm.

4-1 – LaLeggia gets put into the boards deep. The puck winds up on the stick of Justin Auger who is behind the goal line and in the corner but his shot goes right past Lundstrom. No blame on Lundstrom for the first three Ontario goals but this one is horrendous and restores Reign’s three-goal cushion. GOAL: Auger (15) 7:44

  • The bad goal takes a lot wind out of the Condors wings. Ontario starts to shut things down, clogging up the neutral zone and making simple plays to get the puck out of their end.
  • After a scramble in front of the Ontario net, the puck comes back to the point and then over to Slepyshev who makes a shifty move to get by his man. His wrister is handled by Budaj.

4-2 – Dillon Simpson comes down the boards and floats a high shot that goes off Budaj’s arm. The puck goes straight up in the air about 10 feet, then comes down, plunks off Budaj’s back and bounces in. It’s a lucky break the Condors badly need. GOAL: Simpson (3) ASSISTS: Winquist, Roy 18:30


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  • Currie tries to take it over the Ontario line with speed. He’s greeted by a stiff check from Reign defenceman Nick Ebert.
  • Bakersfield’s second line has pretty much been nailed to the bench. The veteran unit has been outplayed badly by the bottom six forwards in the Condors lineup.
  • Bogdan Yakimov takes a swing at rebound but his swipe is thwarted by the stick of Reign defender Derek Forbert.
  • The Condors’ fourth line creates a mad scramble in front of the net. After the whistle, Marco Roy tries to get veteran Nick Schultz to mix it up.
  • The Russian duo of Yakimov and Slepyshev put in some hustle and pressure along the boards. Yakimov comes away with the puck, drops it to LaLeggia who walks in and has his shot corralled by Budaj.
  • Musil fails to get the puck out and it results in LaLeggia taking a tripping penalty behind the net. Ontario doesn’t get anything started on the PP and the Condors wind up with a chance. Ben Betker slaps the puck up the boards and it looks like a 2-on-1 will emerge but Klinkhammer can’t control the puck.
  • Hunt blasts a shot towards the net and Ford’s tip is stopped. Hunt gets it back at the blue line and finds Yakimov along the far boards. His one-timer is shut down as Budaj gets across the crease.
  • Slepyshev has a good look on a rebound but hurries his shot and it is knocked away.
  • The Condors go with the extra attacker in the late going. Khaira gets ahold of a rebound off a point shot. He can’t do much with it.

5-2 – Pitlick mows down Mersch just inside the Ontario end but the puck is freed up for Sean Backman who finds the empty net. GOAL: Backman (20) ASSIST: Mersch 19:24 (EN)

Three Stars

  1. Peter Budaj – Ontario (39 saves)
  2. Josh Currie – Bakersfield
  3. Joel Lowry – Ontario 

From the nest


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  • The Condors went without some hefty muscle in the lineup as Kale Kessy was suspended (accumulation of three game misconducts) and Mitch Moroz was a scratch along with Kyle Platzer.
  • Niklas Lundstrom is the sixth goaltender to start a game for the Condors this season (Ben Scrivens, Anders Nilsson, Laurent Brossoit, Eetu Laurikainen, Ty Rimmer). Laurikainen remains on the injured list
  • The Oilers have goaltending consultant Sylvain Rodrigue and skating coach David Pelletier in Bakersfield
  • Yesterday, Jonathan Lessard, who notched 41 points for ECHL Bakersfield last season, was released by the Norfolk Admirals, who became the Oilers’ Double-A affiliate this season.