BAKERSFIELD CONDORS GAME #7: SAN DIEGO GULLS
The Condors finally returned home after a 5 game road trip where the team went 2-3 winning the first two games before losing the final three games. The Condors took to the home ice against the San Diego Gulls in their first match of the year. It turned out to be “everyone takes a shot night”....on the ice folks….not off. The Condors fired 48 shots on Lukas Dostal including 15 HDSC. While the Condors only managed three goals in what was a brilliant performance by Dostal, they did prevail 3-2 for their first home win of the season.
In terms of the line-up, Coach Chaulk ran 12F-6D. The forward lines saw some decent shuffling. Dino Kambeitz was suspended for two games and consequently missed the game. Tyler Tullio was a healthy scratch. Raphael Lavoie came into the lineup and Graham McPhee also returned. On defense, Vincent Desharnais returned to action and took an injured Philip Broberg’s spot.
The line combos and pairings were as follows:
The PK featured Malone, Bourgault, Demers and Kesselring mostly at PK1. Desharnais, Kemp and Peters also played prominent roles on defense. Hamblin and Philp saw significant time on the PK as a unit. .
Who Got Noticed?
“Alexa: Can you show me videos of how to forecheck?”
Noah Philp’s calling card is his mental acuity. His big brain shows itself off most in his understanding of how to forecheck. The above clips are two examples of the six times tonight, Philp won a puck on the forecheck. His smarts, big body and great stick are immense tools for the forecheck.
But that brain is also great for the PK. Tonight, he and James Hamblin teamed up as a unit and, not only did they help the Condors fend off 6 power plays, they had two excellent shorthanded chances.
However, at the end of the day, what Philp will need to do to get NHL reps is score. Tonight, he showed a pro level release on his first AHL goal. This is a legit scorer’s release with little body movement or takeaway while still having power and accuracy to beat a goalie from distance. Keep shooting Noah.
Bourgault’s game continues to develop and refine early in the season. Tonight, the coaching staff had him on PP1, PK1, and in high leverage minutes, he remained on the ice to defend the lead. On faceoffs, the staff are running set plays through him. Below are two examples from tonight.
His puck thievery skills were on display again tonight on the PK. However, what I wanted to show was how smart the young man is defending on the PK. Watch him and Malone run the triangle plus one to perfection. Look at how tight they stay to each other to protect against seam plays and look at how smooth they switch off to maintain puck pressure. This is textbook PK work from a 20 year old playing his 7th pro game.
I have seen Kostin play bad games. I have seen Kostin play good games. Tonight was both with good outweighing the bad in the end.
First the bad. Watch this whole clip from where he flips Bourgault to the other side even though the standard play for the Condors is to have the wingers go to their off sides. Then watch his lack of compete for the puck and really half hearted effort getting back.
Then the good. Kostin can be such a beast given his size, skating and puck skills. This clip exemplifies every bit of his immense talent.
He finished the night with 5 shots on net tied for team lead. Had two HDSC and set up another two for linemates. I believe the scoring will come and come soon. Consistency on the other hand…..that’s the key for him path to the NHL
I am running out of ways to describe Kesselring’s play this year. First, the goal. His fifth of the year and another shot from distance. Kesselring scores with regularity out here with his wrist shot. He leads AHL defense in goals and is now 8th in scoring amongst defense.
Kesselring #5 in 7 games. Bougault with the helper. pic.twitter.com/ZFs59ZgcNN— bcurlock (@bcurlock) November 3, 2022
However, for me it remains his skating. Look at this shift here. He defends a 1v1. Not crazy about the reach to start, but seals it off fine. Then explodes up the ice on the attack. Realizes that the Condors are going to be outnumbered when the puck is turned over and gets back in the play to take a check. Perhaps not text book on some of the decision making, but his ability to recover using his skating is very exciting.
Finally, watch this small clip of the confidence the big man has right now with the puck on his stick.
Kesselring finished the night with 5 shots and his goal. He leads the team in shots on net and goals and is tied for the team lead in scoring. His trajectory continues to rise.
Kemp had struggles the last few games defensively. For a defensive defenseman that is not a ticket for success. Tonight, Kemp was much better. He was 2-0 goals for at even strength tonight and while Kemp was on the ice, the Condors outshot the Gulls 10-3 at even strength.
More importantly for his chances to progress, he was very involved offensively. He made several excellent attempts joining the rush. His most notable play was a brilliant pass to Seth Griffith who still cannot figure out how it did not go in the net.
Kemp finished the night with one assist and two shots on net in his best performance of the year.
Bakersfield is off until Friday when they host the Henderson Silver Knights in the first of back to back games this weekend...