Bakersfield Condors

Bakersfield Condors

AHL’s Bakersfield Condors can’t stop winning, boast 15-game streak

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The parent club has won once in 11 games. The minor league affiliate is the hottest team in the American Hockey League.

If you’re an Edmonton Oilers fan, well, maybe there’s some hope down in the AHL that can lead to a turnaround in the future. The Bakersfield Condors are red-hot right now having won 15 straight games, with their last defeat coming on Jan. 11.

They won No. 15 on Saturday night, thanks to an overtime goal from Cooper Marody. Here are the highlights and the call from the great Ryan Holt:

The streak has put the Condors in first place in the AHL’s Pacific Division and second in the Western Conference.

Now for the fun facts:

• The Condors are the seventh AHL team to win 15 consecutive games.

• The 15-game winning streak is the fourth-longest in AHL history.

• They kicked off 2019 with an 0-4-1 record and were in fifth place in their division — 11 points out of first place —  before the streak started.

• Bakersfield has outscored opponents 69-31 over their last 15 games and have only trailed for 49 minutes total.

• Per Holt, if the Condors win No. 16 next Saturday against Tucson they will match the 1984-85 Baltimore Skipjacks’ 16-game winning streak. That Skipjacks roster featured Steve Carlson (a.k.a. Steve Hanson), Bruce Boudreau, Marty McSorley, Bob Errey, Phil Bourque, and Andy Brickley. “Nobody on the roster was even alive then.”

• Only two teams in AHL history have had winning streaks greater than 16 games: The 2004-05 Philadelphia Phantoms won 17, and the record-holders, 2011-12 Norfolk Admirals, went on an insane run winning 28 straight. Both teams won the Calder Cup in their respective seasons. (That Norfolk roster featured the likes of Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, and were coached by some guy named Jon Cooper. Wonder whatever happened to those three?)

If the Condors keep the wins coming they could match the Admirals’ record on March 30 against the San Jose Barracuda and break it against the Manitoba Moose on April 2.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Teddy Bear Toss season is the best season

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Once U.S. Thanksgiving comes and goes and the holiday season arrives, that can only mean one thing in the hockey world: Teddy Bear Toss time.

If you’re not familiar with the event, teams encourage fans to bring stuffed animals to the rink and when the home team score their first goal of the night they let the fur fly. It’s a promotion that’s taken place in junior and minor hockey since the early 1990s and has taken off in the last decade.

On Saturday night, the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors hosted their Teddy Bear Toss Night and Joseph Gambardella was the one to get the party started in the second period.

The count took place on Monday and, according to the Condors, there were 8,415 stuffed animals tossed onto the Rabobank Arena ice, the second-highest total in team history. In the 20-year history of the event, the team has donated nearly 130,000 stuffed animals to dozens of organizations through the United Way of Kern County.

That was just the warmup.

In two weeks, the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen will host their Teddy Bear Toss Night, and if you haven’t seen what the atmosphere is like inside Scotiabank Saddledome when the fur gets flying, it’s something special. The team has set the bar for this promotion with their fans delivering every year. Last season’s event saw 24,605 stuffed animals collected, just 4,000 shy of the all time record of 28,815 they hit in 2015.

It’s truly the greatest promotion in sports.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Oilers, Flames AHL affiliates to play outdoor game

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There will be outdoor hockey in California once again this season.

The American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors and Stockton Heat will head outside for a game on Dec. 18 at Raley Field in West Sacramento, Calif.

The Edmonton Oilers’ affiliate and Calgary Flames’ farm club will be a part of the Golden State Hockey Rush – a six-week holiday extravaganza, which runs from Nov. 20 to Jan. 3.

“This event will be a special showcase for our Pacific Division in its inaugural season,” AHL president and CEO David Andrews said in a statement. “We look forward to this celebration of hockey outdoors and to sharing the experience with the terrific hockey fans in Northern California.”

The Condors and Heat begin play in the AHL’s new seven-team Pacific Division this season.

Photo courtesy of The AHL

Oilers’ prospect Ty Rimmer recovering from testicular cancer

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Edmonton Oilers prospect Ty Rimmer announced via twitter on Wednesday that he underwent surgery for testicular cancer.

According to The Bakersfield Californian, Rimmer left the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors a few weeks ago for “health issues”.

The 22-year-old goaltender said he had tumor removed two weeks ago and is expected to make a full recovery.

Rimmer has appeared in 25 games with the Condors this season recording an 8-11-3 record.

He is the second Oilers’ prospect to suffer from the disease.

In November 2012, Brandon Davidson was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The 23-year-old made a full recovery and is currently playing with Edmonton’s American Hockey League affiliate in Oklahoma.

Saturday night is Charlie Sheen night in Bakersfield

The Bakersfield Condors scored 3 straight goals for a 5-4 comeback win against the Idaho Steelheads on Friday night. In case the fans didn’t get enough of it, the two teams renewed pleasantries on Saturday night. Same teams, same place, same bat channel. The joys of the ECHL. The Condors have clinched a playoff spot in the ECHL’s Western Conference and current sit in the 5th spot 3 points ahead of the Utah Grizzlies.

Why are we talking about the ECHL you ask? Well, when a team announces a Charlie Sheen night in honor of the troubled actor, they’ve earned themselves a little love. Of course, “troubled” is the nicest adjective we can use here—and we’re using the term “actor” loosely, but both currently apply.

Here’s a description of the creative promotion the Condors were hosting this evening at Rabobank Arena in beautiful Bakersfield, CA.

* Wear a fedora, or dress like any Charlie Sheen movie character and receive admission for two and a half bucks ($2.50).
* Bring a clean drug test and receive free admission.
* 2-for-1 Tiger Blood Icees and snow cones for the kids.
* The first 1,000 males will receive a Charlie Sheen face on a stick mask.
* Follow the Condors on twitter and we’re confident you won’t be nearly as entertained as if you followed Charlie Sheen on twitter. However, the Condors are inviting everyone to sign up to follow the Condors on twitter, and if we beat Charlie’s Guinness World Record of reaching one million followers in less than 25 hours and 17 minutes, we’ll let Charlie rename the team, as he seems to have a lot of creative ideas lately.
* Bring $2 million (reportedly as much as Charlie doesn’t earn with each cancelled episode) and you can own the Condors!
* Charlie’s dubbed “Goddesses” (Natalie Kenly and Rachel Oberlin) have been named as honorary captains for the game. We’re guessing the Steelheads won’t mind if they get to hang out on the bench.
* A rock band from Mars will play in front of the arena on the plaza before the game.
* Before this game, the Condors aren’t going to practice, attempting to channel Sheen’s no-rehearsal-required spirit. After all, to quote the great Allen Iverson, “We’re talkin’ about practice?!”

“We picked this date for the Charlie Sheen Night because we figured St. Patrick’s Day was a Holiday that Charlie enjoyed celebrating,” said Condors President Matthew Riley. “We would invite him come up to the game and participate in a ceremonial puck drop and just have fun for the night with our fans. We’ll even give him the ticket special for dressing up like himself.”

“And oh yeah, to stick with the Charlie Sheen theme, we plan on ‘winning’ the game.”

Unfortunately, neither Charlie Sheen, nor promotional St. Patrick’s Day jerseys were able to get a huge boost at the gate. In the most important number for the owners in Bakersfield, the attendance was 5,501 on Saturday night. The number was a slight boost from their 4.996 average crowd—but only last night they had 6,811 people in the stands. A boost is a boost—but probably not what they were expecting. Oh, and for the hockey fans, the Condors won again by a score of 2-1.