BAKERSFIELD, Calif.– The Bakersfield Condors and Head Coach Matt O’Dette announced today that the team has agreed to terms with G Bryan Pitton and D Joe Loprieno (lo-PREE-no) for the 2011-12 season.
Coming to Bakersfield from Brampton, ON, Pitton was a 5th round selection (#133 overall) by the Edmonton Oilers in 2006. The 23-year old made his professional debut with the Springfield Falcons (AHL) at the end of the 2007-08 season after playing three seasons in the OHL with the Brampton Battalion. Pitton is no stranger to Bakersfield as he has played parts of the last three seasons with the Stockton Thunder. He has appeared in 13 games against the Condors in his career, and posted a 7-2-0 record against Bakersfield over the last two seasons. In December 2009, he became the first player in Thunder history to earn a direct recall to the NHL.
Last season in Stockton, Pitton played in 34 games with a record of 18-10-4, a 2.90 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage. He was named the Reebok Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending November 7, 2010 after going 2-0-0 with one shutout against Bakersfield. He has played parts of the last two seasons in the AHL, appearing in eight games with the Falcons in 2009-10 and eight games with the Oklahoma City Barons in 2010-11. His older brother, Jason, played in the ECHL with Stockton and the AHL with Manitoba, Worcester, and Bridgeport last season.
Loprieno, who turns 25 next week, brings two seasons worth of AHL experience to the Condors blue line. The Bloomington, IL native spent the last two campaigns with the Worcester Sharks where he played 98 games with three goals and five assists for eight points and 113 PIMs. Loprieno has also spent time as a forward, and was playing on the wing when he scored his first professional goal on November 27, 2010.
Undrafted, the 6’3″, 225-pound Loprieno signed an NHL contract with the San Jose Sharks after playing three seasons in the NCAA for Merrimack. In 2008-09 he served as the Warriors’ captain and was an alternate captain in 2007-08. He received the Warrior Award in 2007-08 for his “perseverance, toughness, and dedication to the Merrimack program.” During his collegiate career, Loprieno played 88 games with five goals and eight assists for 13 points to go along with 190 penalty minutes.He is attending AHL camp with the Chicago Wolves before joining the Condors.
The Condors home opener is just 19 days away, when the Colorado Eagles come to town on Saturday, Oct. 15. Game time is 7 p.m. Ticket packages for the 2011-12 season are now on sale, starting at just $48. The Condors will battle the rival Stockton Thunder in Bakersfield in preseason action on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. Visit www.BakersfieldCondors.com or call 324-PUCK(7825) for more information.
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