BAKERSFIELD CONDORS GAME #19: COLORADO EAGLES
The Condors returned home after a disappointing two game series in Abbotsford where the Canucks took both games without a great degree of pushback from Bakersfield. The lineup certainly has been weakened with call ups to the Oilers, but the effort level and team structure has been inconsistent. In addition, players that had a chance to seize the day have not. Tonight, the Condors hosted the division leading Colorado Eagles. Unfortunately, it was more of the same with a Condors team that was outshot 46-29 falling 5-4 to the Eagles. .
In terms of the line-up, Coach Chaulk ran 12F-6D. The big news was the healthy scratch of Raphael Lavoie. Lavoie has trended down despite a concerted push by the coaching staff in terms of linemates and specialty team time. Tonight, he was replaced by ECHL call up Drake Rymsha. Noah Philp also returned to the lineup replacing Philip Engaras who was sent to the Fort Wayne of the ECHL. No changes on the defense lineup.
The second PP was:
PK was better tonight going six for seven. No Oiler prospect forwards played a lot on the PK. Kemp, Kesselring and Niemlainen played a lot on the backend.
Who Got Noticed?
Kesselring played a “pro’s” game tonight. Mature, composed, physical and took his opportunities when he had the chance. He ended the night with five shots on net. His shot totals put him fourth for all AHL defensmen He was 1-1 GF at 5x5, but really cannot be faulted on the goal against. Probably the first tough goal on Olivier Rodrigue in some time.
I continue to be amazed by his shot. He beats goalies with both wrist shots and slappers from distance. He also has an uncanny ability to have his shot deflected out front creating offensive opportunities. It led to one assist.
Tonight, however, the new part of Michael Kesselring was on display. He’s made a concerted effort to be very hard to play against. To be a disturber even. Mostly, he’s trying to hurt people when he can as you can see here.
Besides his skating, this is the most welcome addition to Kesselring’s development and something that will get him noticed.
Phil Kemp almost played the perfect Phil Kemp game. He was paired with Alex Peters in a shut down role and the two of them were consistently able to fend off Colorado attacks. Kemp ended up with a 3-1 GF share tonight plus he added some nice offense which is an underrated part of his game. Here is one of his two assists tonight he recorded tonight.
But for one play, Kemp could have been the top Condors D prospect tonight. That play was this one.
Kemp’s ticket to any NHL games will be as a defensive defenseman. These plays cannot happen for him. He needed to back off immediately from the non-dangerous player and engage the player coming with speed. He recognized it too late. It cost the Condors the game.
He was healthy scratched last game. He started at 4C this game. He was 2C by the end of the game. He scored a goal. I really never understand Colin Chaulk’s philosophy on prospects. This is a very smart player, who never takes shifts off and never takes short cuts on defense. What more can you want? You want scoring? Watch this release. It is very good.
I’ve been asked about this prospect’s skating. For sure, it is an issue. However, it is clear that he has worked on it. Look at this clip of his stride.
What I like is that those feet are returning very quickly to ready position for the next stride. Also, he is clearly working on the two crossover stride which allows for both more speed and more lateral mobility. In this case, it drove the defender off and allowed for a decent shot at net.
Three goals in three games. He’s really finding his offense. I always believed that once he learned how to get his shot off at this level, he would score. In his last five games, he has 13 shots. Now tonight, he scored by doing something he has no qualms doing - going to the net.
In addition to his scoring, Tullio has earned himself a role on 1PP. He is also now on the PK which he hadn’t done at all. He was also 1L tonight.
If he continues to work on his skating, he has a lot of tools to get him a look at the NHL level.
Bakersfield heads down to Ontario to play the Reign tomorrow at 6pm MST. See you then.