Welcome back, Joel Broda.
Broda was named captain of the Condors the day before Bakersfield opened its season. But by then he was already en route to Oklahoma City and the American Hockey League where he spent three weeks.
On Saturday, Broda donned the sweater with the letter "C" and scored four minutes into his first ECHL game of the season, starting the Condors on their way to their first win of the season, 2-1 over the Las Vegas Wranglers.
The victory before 5,953 at Rabobank Arena snapped an eight game (0-7-1) losing streak.
"That (Edmonton Oilers) trade with Calgary and a couple of guys getting healthy in Edmonton pushed Brods down and obviously we're pretty happy to have him," Condors coach Troy Mann said before the game.
Afterward he had more to say.
"I thought Broda was the best player on the ice for both teams over the course of 60 minutes, especially in that first period," Mann said. "He took control of the game. I thought he was excellent in the room. We named him captain for a reason and he took charge. That's what we needed."
Bakersfield took a 2-0 lead when Jordan Knackstedt got his team-leading third goal at 16:52 in a period totally dominated by the Condors. Bakersfield out shot Las Vegas 15-2.
"It was awesome," Broda, named the game's first star, said of the win. "I was in Oklahoma City, but I was following the boys. I can't be more proud of the guys and they way we came out and battled, especially in that first period."
The Wranglers bounced back in the second period and out shot the Condors 10-6, but Bakersfield took the two-goal lead into the third.
"You can't sustain that for 60 minutes," Mann said of Bakersfield's first period play. "The fact we knew they got (chewed) out after the first period because we could hear their coach yelling, we knew they'd make a push and they did in in the second. We managed to hold on."
The Wranglers got their goal 10:42 into the third when Jeff May fired a shot through traffic on a power play.
Andy Chiodo, who only joined the team on Wednesday and played his first game of the season on Friday was the winning goaltender, stopping 20 of 21 shots.
"In the third I thought we were a little tight, but that's normal," Mann said. "We've been going through a lot of adversity here the past three weeks trying to get that first win on the board. It's normal.
I thought those last five minutes we were really engaged to try and get that win."
As for Chiodo, Mann said he's been a difference maker.
"Certainly the goaltending stats up until the last couple of nights speak for themselves," he said. "We needed to make some changes in that area and I think Chico gave us a chance to win both nights (he stopped 32 of 34 shots in a 2-1 loss in San Francisco on Friday night)."
The Condors will wear special Gettysburg Address jerseys today for their 4 p.m. Game against Stockton in honor of the 150th anniversary of the famous speech. The jerseys, which have garnered national attention, will be auctioned off after the game with proceeds going to Bakersfield ARC ... Goaltender Paul Karpowich was released on Saturday as goaltender Chad Pickard was assigned to the team by the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League. Pickard, 23, was drafted in the first round by the Nashville Predators in 2008.
That means the Condors have a totally different goaltending duo than when the seasons tarted three weeks ago. Tyler Bunz, who started the season with the Condors, is on recall to Oklahoma City.
"Certainly we anticipated having to find a goalie to replace (Tyler) Bunz (expected to be up for an extended period) so that's where Chiodo came into play," Mann said. "The development of Chet Pickard was certainly all their doing We found out Friday they wanted to sign another goalie and he was reassigned to Bakersfield."
The Condors also signed forward Spencer Bennett on Saturday. He assisted on Knacksted's goal.