BAKERSFIELD CONDORS GAME #4: TUCSON ROADRUNNERS
The Condors took their roadshow to Tucson on Saturday night to play the Roadrunners in the third of a five game road trip. To commemorate Adam Cracknell’s 1000th game, the Condors promptly allowed him to score the first goal of the game and then lay an absolute egg of an effort. The primary culprits tonight were the vets through the lineup and the defensive corp. To be honest, the kids in this lineup made this game closer than it should have been with a tremendous third period, but ultimately the Condors dropped the game 5-3. From a prospect perspective there were some green shoots again tonight.
In terms of the line-up, Coach Chaulk ran 12F-6D again. The forward lines stayed the same from the prior game. Darien Kielb came out of the lineup (no word on injury) for Adam Brubacher on the backend.
To start this game, the kid line of Philp-Engaras-Tullio saw limited minutes due to penalty trouble for the Condors. However, that changed in the last half of the game with that line playing very regular shifts and even saw one double shift. It was this line’s best game as a unit and the kids nearly pulled the team back into this game.
The line combos and pairings were as follows:
PP1 remained the same as previous games until the third period.
In the third period, Bourgault stepped in for Kambeitz taking Hamblin’s role with Hamblin stepping into the bumper role.
The PK was a hefty rotation of vets for on forward and defense tonight and it was poor giving up three power play goals against.
Who Got Noticed?
Was Tullio the Condor’s best forward for the entire game? Probably not. He was, however, their best forward for the last 30 minutes. What is becoming very noticeable is his confidence. He’s much quicker now with his decisions and there is a decent first step in his stride That is creating havoc in the offensive zone. In addition, he displayed all of his offensive prowess that he did in the OHL. He scored a tremendous goal showing patience and then a lethal wrist shot. He had some excellent passes as well. His trademark forecheck intensity set the tone for the Condors rejuvenation in the third period. There is a prospect here once he gets a little stronger and a little quicker.
This was Philp’s best game as a professional. As noted, he played on the kid line and the group was buzzing tonight. Take a look at this shift below which is a great example of what this group did for the last thirty minutes of the game. For Philp, his skating was notable for me tonight. He was really moving well and this led to a number of turnovers by him on the forecheck. He also had a couple of great looks on the attack using his big body to shield defenders and then attacking inside. He finished the game with three shots on net and created one HDSC.
Bourgault continued to advance his game tonight. Again, playing with Malone and McKegg he generated three shots on net. He also had one HDSC himself and set up another for McKegg. More interesting was that Bourgault got bumped to PP1 in the third and also ended up playing high leverage minutes with the goalie pulled late in the game. He didn’t register a point, although I think he probably was owed one on Hamblin’s second goal. The points will come as evidenced by these highlights..
Now it may seem strange to list a guy who had another two goals tonight down the list in terms of prospect performance. However, this was not Hamblin’s finest night. His line was on for two goals against and really had very little impact on the game as a group. Hamblin’s ticket to the NHL will be his ability to shut down goals against in the bottom six, so tonight will not rank high in terms of his overall development. Still, he had his third multiple point game in a row and now has 8 points good for a second place tie in all of AHL scoring.
Kesselring needed to clone himself out there tonight. He played over twenty minutes tonight in every situation and was truly the Condors only effective defenseman. The big man continues to show his offensive skills. His exit passing was strong tonight sending Condors on the entry attack 5 times. He also displayed great hands moving down off the blueline for a decent shot on net. He ended up with three shots and was the only defenseman with a plus rating. He was full value for his effort tonight.
Bakersfield looks to avenge tonight’s loss tomorrow afternoon back in Tucson.