Condors

Thursday, Nov 14 2013 05:19 PM

Freefall continues as Condors drop to 1-9-1

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Condors goalie Andy Chiodo keeps his eyes on the puck and is able to block the shot on goal by the Stockton Thunder in the 2nd period of their daytime game Thursday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Condors Ryan Garlock looks for a shot as Thunder's #22 Ryan Constant comes in to defend in their Thursday game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Tempers flare between Condors #4 Joey Leach and Thunder's #36 J.P. Burkemper during their Thursday day game.

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  4. 4 of 9

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    The Condors Spencer Bennett gets the puck under his foot as he battles with the Thunder's Michal Spacek Thursday.

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  5. 5 of 9

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    A boy loses his chair during a game of musical chairs between periods of the Bakersfield Condors game with the Stockton Thunder. Thurday's day game was the annual field trip day for area students.

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  6. 6 of 9

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Students dance between periods at the Condors hockey game against the Stockton Thunder. Thursday was the annual field trip day at the Condors game for area students.

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  7. 7 of 9

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    People get in on the fun between periods of the Condors versus the Stockton Thunder hockey game Thursday.

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  8. 8 of 9

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    The Condors #21 Spencer Bennett, # 30 Andy Chiodo and #20 Tyler Brenner defend the goal as the Thunder's # 29 Brayden Irwin looks to score in the 2nd priod of their Thursday game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    The Condors # 18 Jordan Knackstedt and # 77 Chase Schaber battle the Stockton Thunder's # 8 Nathan Deck and Michal Spacek for control of the puck in their Thursday day game.

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BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer mgriffith@bakersfield.com

If this had been a prize fight, the referee would have jumped in and stopped the pummeling.

Instead, the Condors had to stick around for an entire 60 minutes on Thursday as they were dealt a 6-2 beat-down at the hands of the Stockton Thunder before 6,402 in the annual Field Trip Day game at Rabobank Arena.

It was the worst loss at home this season for the Condors, who fell to 1-9-1, the worst start in all of pro hockey.

"We're going to have to make some changes," Condors coach Troy Mann said afterward. "I thought we turned the corner last week, even though we only got one win. If it wasn't for not burying some scoring chances, I think we easily could have won three games last week."

On Thursday it was the Thunder doing the burying.

Bakersfield penalty-killers left a Thunder player all alone a few feet from the Bakersfield net and all four watched as Andrew Clark simply strode in from the side and beat goalie Andy Chiodo 1:26 into the game.

But what really set the tone for the game was a Bakersfield power play, which started just over a minute later.

The Condors got no shots during the first 56 seconds -- a sluggish entry into the zone led to an easy clear and a blind pass led to another -- but Bakersfield did draw a penalty to set up 1:04 of a two-man advantage.

But a lack of movement and fumbled puck at the point led to a 2-on-0 short-handed Stockton break, which Chiodo stopped.

"We had a couple of plays designed and the five guys on ice just didn't execute," a frustrated Mann said. "There was a play there. Unfortunately the play was not executed and (Stockton) went back the other way on a breakaway.

"It's not lack of preparation. The preparation is there. We worked on the power play for 30 minutes (Wednesday) and a good 10-15 minutes on 5-on-3 as well."

Clark scored another goal after a Condors turnover midway through the period to make it 2-0, and James Henry got his first of two goals off another turnover late in the period and the Condors -- who came in averaging a league low 1.40 goals per game -- were done.

"Our start wasn't very good," Mann said. "Unfortunately we had some guys here in the room not ready to play.

"The 16 skaters weren't all ready to play. The first goal (was) a miscue on the PK we practiced since Oct. 3. The guys have to be mentally prepared from the drop of the puck."

Michael Neal and Chase Schaber had goals for the Condors, the second for both.

Mann pulled Chiodo after Stockton made it 5-1 five minutes into the third, putting in Chet Pickard for his first action this season.

"I thought once they scored that fifth one it was time to get him some action," Mann said. "He hasn't played a game this year. He certainly wasn't overly tested the rest of the way but at least he got to feel the puck in a game situation."

By the end of the game the Condors had squandered nine power-play opportunities, including another two-man advantage which lasted more than a minute. They are now on an 0-for-23 skid spanning the past six-plus games.

"For whatever reason there's a lot of guys in that room that can't find the back of the net," Mann said. "At every level, whether it's NHL, American League or ECHL, guys get paid good dollars at that level to put the puck in the net. And we just have some guys here that unfortunately have struggled since Day 1 finding the back of the net."

That, Mann reiterated, is no longer acceptable.

"We're going to need to change personnel here because this is not acceptable. We need to get better. The light at the end of the tunnel for us is eight out of nine teams make (the playoffs) in this conference so you can chip away at the standings and still make playoffs and make a run a the end of the year. This is by no means over.

"But we're going to sit down as a management team and a coaching staff and make some decisions here."

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