BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Goaltender Tyler Bunz is back in Bakersfield and he brought along a teammate from his stint with the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League,
Bunz, who started the season with the Condors before being called up, was reassigned to the team and rookie forward Kyle Kessy was assigned to the Condors after playing 18 games with the Barons.
Bunz appeared in four games with Oklahoma City, going 1-1-0-1 with a 3.15 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.
Condors coach Troy Mann had been expecting Bunz to return to Bakersfield but said Kessy was "a little bit of a surprise."
Kessy (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) was a fourth-round pick of Phoenix in the 2011 NHL draft. He had a goal and an assist in Oklahoma City.
"He's a big, physical guy, hopefully he's motivated to play," Mann said, adding that Kessy would play tonight against the San Francisco Bulls.
To make room for Kessy, the Condors waived Austin Mayer, who was just signed last week and played on Saturday night in Bakersfield's 2-1 win over Ontario.
The Condors now have two goaltenders assigned to them as Chet Pickard was assigned from Oklahoma City on Nov. 9.
Pickard is 2-2-0 with the 2.32 goals-against average and .895 save percentage in five games with the Condors. Mann said he would start tonight.
Mann said he's been much happier with the play of his team over the past eight games, with the exception of a 6-2 loss to Stockton.
"Defensively, I don't have a problem with what we're doing," he said. "But we still can't score."
In the seven non-blowout games, the Condors have limited teams to 16 goals while scoring 13. They are 3-4 in those games with three 2-1 losses.
Despite having just three wins in their first 15 games, the Condors are just three points behind San Francisco and four behind Las Vegas.
"We've set some goals and we just have to start chipping away," Mann said.