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By CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Condors coach Troy Mann was looking for some toughness and he found it in returning forward Brett Lyons.
Mann was also looking to add a bit more skill up front and got that in rookie forward Louke Oakley.
The team announced the two signings on Tuesday, bringing the roster to 19 as training camp is set to open on Oct. 4.
Lyon (6-foot-2, 208 pounds) played 48 games for the Condors last season after being acquired from Orlando. He led the team -- and all ECHL rookies -- with 218 penalty minutes. He had 20 fighting penalties and also scored five goals and five assists.
"I'm looking forward to coming back and contributing at both ends this season," Lyon said. "Certainly, like last year, I'm not going to shy away from anything physical, because it's important to get noticed that way. By being a physical, two-way player, I can help the team win and with Edmonton (Bakersfield's NHL parent club) staying up-to-date on what we're doing, it will help to know that they are watching closely."
Mann did not see Lyon play last season, but heard plenty about him.
"We wanted to increase our physical presence up front," Mann said. "The best compliment I can give Brett is when I first took the job in late June, and was interviewing all the players that played here in terms of wanting certain guys back, he was a name that kept coming up. That's a testament to his character and what his teammates think of him.
"We're just real excited to bring (back) a player that not only had 20 majors last year but can also play the game ... those type players are hard to find."
Oakley comes to the Condors through the Clarkson University (Postdam, N.Y.) pipeline. He is the third player on the roster from the school.
That pipeline started last season with Scott Freeman, Jake Morley and Nicholas Tremblay, who has signed with the Oklahoma City Barons, Edmonton's American Hockey League affiliate.
Morely has been signed by the Condors this season, along with former Clarkson goaltender Paul Karpowich.
"The coaches at Clarkson raved about Louke's skill level and speed," Mann said. "He had a great senior year there and was nearly a point-per-game guy in Germany last season.
"We're looking forward to seeing what he can do this year."
Oakley was second in scoring his senior year at Clarkson (35 points in 37 games, one point behind Tremblay).
He led German's ESV Kaufbeuren in goals (17) and was third in points (37) last season.
"Tremblay had nothing but good things to say about the organization and the city last year," Oakley said. "Last year was a tough year to turn pro with the lockout, but I enjoyed playing in Germany last season.
"I like to be creative on the ice, not afraid to make the pass that others might not think is there, and be poised with the puck."