Dramatic Turnaround Has Condors,
Ice Dogs Atop League

Bakersfield defeated Las Vegas 3-1 on Saturday to improve to 7-0-1 in its last eight games and remain atop the ECHL in wins (23), winning percentage (.689) and points (51). The Condors are only two wins and eight points shy of the totals for wins and points from their inaugural ECHL season in 2003-04 when they were 25-38-9, finishing fifth in the Pacific Division and 24th in the league with 59 points. Bakersfield is four points ahead of Long Beach (22-11-3) and nine points ahead of San Diego (19-11-4), Fresno (19-13-4) and Alaska (19-13-4) in the West Division of the National Conference.

Going 5-0-1 on their recent trip to the East and improving to 6-0-2 against the North Division of the National Conference, the Condors are 7-0-1 in their last eight road games and 11-4-3 overall on the road after going 11-21-4 on the road in 2003-04. Bakersfield will return to the road traveling to Idaho to meet the defending Kelly Cup Champion Steelheads on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The Condors are 1-0-1 against Idaho, losing 1-0 in overtime on December 18 and winning 4-1 on December 20 with both games played in Bakersfield. Idaho is in sixth place in the West Division with an 18-15-3 record, including an 11-8-1 record at home, and 39 points.

Bakersfield’s Yutaka Fukufuji is 5-0-0 with goals-against average of 1.77 and save percentage of .941 in his last five starts while Randy Petruk is 2-0-1 with goals-against of 1.90 and save percentage of .926 in his last three starts. The Condors’ Vlad Serov has a five-game scoring streak (3g-3a) while Lars-Peder Nagel has 10 points (4g-6a) in his last eight games and Dennis Shiryaev has six points (4g-2a) in the last six games. Playing as a line, the three have combined to score a point in 11 consecutive games and in the last seven games have scored 21 points (10g-11a). Connor James, who has been named to the National Conference roster for the ECHL All-Star Game, has scored nine points in his last seven games.

Going 13-3-1 in their last 17 games, including 12-3-1 against division opponents, Long Beach is 22-11-3 with 47 points. The Ice Dogs need only one win and four points to equal their inaugural season totals when they were 23-44-5 with 51 points, finishing seventh in the Pacific Division and 29th in the ECHL. Evan Cheverie has four game-winning goals and 24 points (10g-14a) during the 17 games while Chris Kenady has three game-winning goals and 21 points (11g-10a).

Going 7-0-1 in 2005, Fresno has improved to 19-13-4 with 42 points, tying it for fourth place with Alaska, which has gone 6-1-2 in its last nine games to improve to 19-13-4. Derek Krestanovich (5g-5a) and Jason Weaver (4g-6a) have led the Falcons offensively in the eight games. In the last nine games for Alaska, Chris Minard has 17 points (13g-4a), giving him a league-leading 26 goals in 36 games, while Scott Gomez has 21 points (2g-19a), giving him a league-leading 35 assists in 30 games. Selected to the ECHL All-Star Game, Minard was called up to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League and is scheduled to make his debut on Tuesday.