Less than two minutes into Wednesday night's ECHL All-Star Classic, a fan in the upper bowl at Rabobank Arena implored the Condors to "hit somebody."
But this was an all-star game -- an exhibition designed to showcase talent, not hitting. And that meant the Condors -- a team built for physical regular-season play -- were at a distinct disadvantage against a talented group of ECHL All Stars.
Just after that fan cried out for a hit, Stockton forward Mark Arcobello set the tone for the game when he scored two minutes and six seconds into the contest.
Arcobello scored two more goals for a hat trick as the ECHL All-Stars went on to a 9-3 victory before 7,397 fans.
It was just the eighth time in 19 ECHL All-Star games that a player has scored three or more goals and that made Arcobello the easy choice for the Most Valuable Player award.
While the ice was certainly titled in favor of the visitors, the game did afford Condors, many who would never have a chance of participating in an all-star game, a chance to skate in a showcase event.
And Erick Lizon took full advantage of that opportunity, scoring on a wrister from the right circle 4:16 into the third while the Condors were trailing 6-2.
"I took the puck up, used the D-man as a screen and let her go," said Lizon, who is known for fighting, not scoring. "Marty (coach Marty Raymond) was yelling at me to shoot the puck, don't be fancy with it."
This is only the second time in ECHL All-Star competition that a host team and played and Lizon was grateful for the opportunity.
"Obviously I'm not the type of player to ever be in an all-star game but it was a good experience and pretty fun," he said.
Josh Tordjman played all three periods in goal for the Condors while Michal Ouzas (Las Vegas), Tyler Beskorowany (Idaho) and Patrick Killeen (Wheeling) each spent a period in net for the ECHL.
"It was fun, as much as I don't want to say letting nine goals in is fun but it was still a good time," Tordjman said. "We went out and enjoyed ourselves. We put a big smile on our face and wanted to put on a show for the fans.
"(There were) a little more 3-on-2s and 2-on-1s. It's definitely not the same game flow we normally play but it's fun. With all the skill out there you really get to see the tic-tac-toe plays come out."
The Condors trailed 3-0 after the first period and Joel Broda got the first Bakersfield goal 1:28 into the second.
Arcobello then scored two more goals before Pascal Morency made it 5-2 with a goal late in the period.
"We didn't know really what to expect," Morency said. "We have a lot of warriors on this team, we're a physical team and it's hard to bring that kind of style of game to an all-star game, You don't want to hurt the best players on the other side.
"We tried to enjoy it and keep up with the offensive play."
Chris Langkow of Alaska had a pair of goals for the ECHL All-Stars as did Ryan Ginand of Trenton. Marc-Olivier Vallerand of Greenville and Eric Lampe of Elmira also scored.