BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
The Peter Boyd youth jerseys being given away at tonight's Condors game were ordered months ago, but the timing could not be better.
Boyd is on a hot streak with goals in six consecutive games and points in nine in a row as Bakersfield returns home for the first time since Jan. 15. A goal tonight against Colorado would put Boyd into a tie with Paul Rosebush and Mark Derlago for the longest goal streak in team history.
COLORADO AT CONDORS
When: 7, tonight
Where: Rabobank Arena
Radio: KHTY (970 AM)
Eagles record: 20-20-3
Condors record: 23-30-4
Series: Condors are 0-3-0
Notes: Second-year forward Parker Stanfield, who had missed the last six games because of a concussion, has been suspended because he is leaving the team to play in Europe ... Condors coach Matt O'Dette said defenseman Ryan Annesley, who has not played since suffering a shoulder injury Dec. 14, will undergo surgery today and will be out at least a month longer ... After finishing up a 13-day, 7,100-mile road trip featuring seven games in six cities, the Condors are starting a stint of seven games over 10 days. When done they while have played 14 games in nine different cities over 24 days ... The first 2,000 kids 12 and under at tonight's game will get a Condors youth jersey featuring alternate captain Peter Boyd.
"It's been great for sure," Boyd said of his run. "It's definitely nice when things are going in for you. But we're just trying to get some wins together."
While Boyd and his linemate Francis Verreault have been hot, the Condors as a team have not. The Condors, who need wins to get into playoff contention, went 6-7-1 in January.
Boyd registered 10 goals and five assists in the month while Verreault, who played his first game as a Condor on Jan. 4, had five goals and nine assists. Verreault has points in all but one of his 13 games as a Condor. Boyd has points in 11 of 13 games since Verreault joined the team.
"Francis is definitely a good player," Boyd said. "I think he's proven that his whole career. He has tons of speed and is pretty creative around the net.
"It's fun to play with a guy like that. You have to give credit to him, that's for sure. We're really meshing well together. Hopefully that continues. We're feeding off each other. If that continues it will help the team."
Helping the team find ways to win is goal No. 1 for Boyd.
"It's nice to contribute for the team, but you're always just looking to put a win on the board for the team and team success," he said. "If you play this game you play to win."
And now Boyd and the rest of the Condors desperately need to find ways to win as they are nine points out of a playoff spot and have played more games than teams they are chasing.
The Condors won three consecutive games after the NHL lockout ended (and more than a 120 players left the ECHL for higher leagues), but have gone 2-5-2 since.
"We saw right away (after the lockout ended) that we could have success," Boyd said. "We have to do what gives us success and stick to it. We need to have trust for each other that we are going to do our jobs."
And look at the small frame, not the big picture.
"You need to focus in game by game on the job at hand instead of the big picture and getting overwhelmed by where you stand or how you sit in the standings," he said. "If you get overwhelmed negativity can leap in."
And while Boyd said it is natural to scoreboard watch, he emphasized the Condors just need to take care of their own business and keep a narrow focus.
"You can't get too far ahead of yourself," he said. "If you're getting too far ahead and not focusing on the present, that's how games slip away. You need to keep a one-game mentality. One game at a time and hopefully we get rolling like we did right after the lockout."