The Condors are the hottest team in the AHL with wins in nine of their last 10 and it took a spectacular goaltending performance to end the team’s nine-game winning streak on Wednesday.
It’s been such a good run for the team, that I needed an extra day just to write the blog. You may only read Thursday blogs, and that’s fine, but as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog (thanks to Grapevine MSP) and I’ll do what I want… Besides, getting a Friday blog is like the little chocolate in the cone at the end of a drumstick.
Now for the blog.
We’ll start with one third of the top line in the American Hockey League, Ryan McLeod. The second-year pro has been a driving force of the “Benny & The Jets” line which has dominated over the past month. McLeod has 14 points (6g-8a) in 11 games and leads the team at +14. You can click the button below to download this weekend’s GAME TIME magazine with a story on the line from Paul Gazzola and a 10 questions feature with Markus Niemelainen. The soft-spoken Finn has been a revelation on the blue line this season. Plus we find out what Makaronilaatikko is.
If I was GM, and I’ll never be, give me 20 Luke Espositos. One thing’s for sure, your team will never be outworked. He’s one off his career high for goals already this year with six and was the catalyst for the team’s come from behind overtime victory on Tuesday. Joked afterwards that it took a bit to go into my overtime call because I didn’t know if it was 9 or 5 in front of the net because we’re 300 feet above the ice at the Shark Tank and I didn’t want to mess up the call. Thankfully the camera zoomed in right at the last second.
I could fire you up for two TV games this week, but Mike Hart and Cameron Hughes do a better job. We’ll get the fun started at 3 p.m. on 23ABC on Saturday and Sunday against Ontario. HOLTY SCOOP: we’re adding another TV game on Saturday, April 17 at 8 p.m. (game time moving from 6 p.m.).
Cooper Marody and Tyler Benson are 1-2 in the AHL scoring race. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are 1-2 in the NHL scoring race. Marody and Benson’s run is some of the best hockey I’ve seen at this level and they are especially getting it done 5-on-5. Honestly, it could have been even more impressive had Josef Korenar not robbed Marody in the final seconds of Thursday’s game. Still not sure how he got to that one.
Until next time Condorstown… We’ll see you on TV for a couple matinees this weekend.
Ryan Holt aka Holty is the voice of the Condors in his 10th season. 3 p.m. starts might be his favorite thing about this season. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense or shoot him an e-mail to RHolt@Bakersfieldcondors.com with questions, comments, or blog ideas.