Condors

Thursday, Nov 15 2012 07:03 PM

Condors show some punch in shootout

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Condors host Las Vegas Condor Trevor Hendrix (right) and Wrangler Adam Huxley hook up for a tussel in the Bakersfield zone during the second period Thursday.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Condors host Las Vegas Some of the several thousand Kern County school kids get into the groove of a Condors game Thursday morning. It was the annual "Field Trip Day" game, with the Condors hosting Las Vegas at 10:30am.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Condors host Las Vegas A shot by Condor Levi Nelson is deflected by Wrangler goalie Joe Fallon in the first period Thursday.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Condors host Las Vegas Condor Levi Nelson braces fo a ride into the boards as he tries to gather the puck against the defense of Wrangler Charlie Cook inthe first period Thursday.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Condors host Las Vegas Condor Levi Nelson gets tripped by Wrangler Jamie Fritsch as they battle for the puck in the first period Thursday.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Condors host Las Vegas Las Vegas' Chris Collins tries to control the puck and get a shot against Condor goalie Scott Greenham in the second period Thursday.

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BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer mgriffith@bakersfield.com

It's a good thing the Condors are good in shootouts.

Five times this season the Condors have gone to the skills contest to decide the outcome of games. Four times they've skated away with a victory.

Related Info

Las Vegas at Condors

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Rabobank Arena

Radio: KHTY (970 AM)

Wranglers record: 3-6-0-2

Condors record: 5-7-1-1

Series: Bakersfield is 2-1-0-0

Notes: The Condors received the rights to veteran defenseman David Walker in a trade with Toledo. Walker, who lives in Southern California, has not played this season as he has been dealing with family issues, according to O'Dette, who added that Walker had been suspended by Toledo. "We've been speaking, and if he does work it out so he can come back and play, it will be for us," O'Dette said. Walker skated from 2004-07 with the Long Beach Ice Dogs and from 2008-11 with the Ontario Reign before playing in Europe last season ... Tonight is Military Appreciation Night; all active military and veterans receive complimentary admission ... The first 2,000 children 12 and younger at tonight's game will receive a Condors mini hockey stick.

With the remnants of a Field Trip Day crowd of 7,426 cheering them on, all three Condors scored in the shootout and goaltender Scott Greenham stopped three of four Las Vegas shooters for a 2-1 victory at Rabobank Arena.

"It's not something we look forward to doing but it's something we seem to be pretty good at, so as long as it's getting us points I don't think it really matters," Greenham said of the shootouts.

It was the third straight game the Condors have gone to a shootout (Brian Stewart was in net for the last two). The Condors are now 2-0-0-1 over their last three.

"It's a huge thing for us right now," Greenham, who made 31 saves in regulation, said of getting the extra point for winning a shootout.

The Wranglers led off the shootout and Greenham made the first save then Condors coach Matt O'Dette sent Mr. Reliable -- Peter Boyd -- over the boards to shoot first for the Condors. Boyd scored for the third time in four shootouts, setting the tone.

"That first save is really big and Boyder scoring was huge," O'Dette said. "The one time I didn't put him out first we lost the shootout."

Robbie Dee and Levi Nelson also scored in the shootout for the Condors (5-7-1-1)

"It's important," Boyd said of coming away with the extra point awarded to the winner. "We want to keep getting points and getting better. I think we're taking strides to getting better and that's what we want to do as a team."

Nearly 6,000 schoolchildren from throughout the county were on hand for the 10:30 a.m. start, and after a scoreless first period the largest cheer of the day came 14 minutes into the second period when Bakersfield's Trevor Hendrikx and Las Vegas' Adam Huxley dropped the gloves and fought.

A few minutes later, there was more reason to cheer as defenseman Erik Burgdoerfer put the Condors up 1-0 with 15 seconds left in the period when he pushed in a rebound following an up-ice rush.

"We came down in a rush so I drove the net," said Burdoerfer. "Being a D-man I know the hardest thing to do is when (a D-man as an extra attacker) stands there and won't go away so I gave it a try and it just worked out."

By the time the second rebound came toward Burgdoerfger, off shots by Parker Stanfield and Robbie Dee, Burgdoerfer was staring at an empty net but he was no longer standing.

"There was a lot of net but I was laying on my stomach so I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to swat it in or not," he said.

The Wranglers, limited to 14 shots through the first two periods, ramped up the pressure over the final 20 minutes and finally got the equalizer when Josh Lunden scored with 6:42 remaining. Greenham made two saves on Lundgren over the final three minutes to preserve the regulation tie.

The Condors were outshot 16-7 in the third period.

"I think the last few games we've playing our style, the way we want to play for the first half, almost two full periods," O'Dette said. "This was very similar to our last game in Idaho where we came out with a great first, a pretty decent second and the third we kind of faded a bit.

"A new motto of ours is start fast and finish strong. Starting fast is coming. The finishing strong is a work in progress."

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