The Bakersfield Condors are hoping a new environment might bring different results when they host the San Diego Gulls on Friday night at Mechanics Bank Arena.
The Condors (0-5-0-0), who are still looking for their first victory on the season, have lost to the Gulls three times, including a pair of one-goal decisions.
San Diego will come to Bakersfield for the first time this season Friday.
In the three previous meetings, the Condors have scored first — and early — with goals in the first five minutes of the game.
In the season opener Feb. 5, Devin Brosseau scored 4:56 into the game with an assist from Theodor Lennstrom and Vincent Desharnais, giving the Condors a 1-0 lead after the first period. But the Gulls scored four straight for a 4-1 victory.
The following night, Seth Griffith got Bakersfield on the board with a goal just 1:35 into the game with an assist from Alan Quine and Ryan Stanton. But San Diego closed the period with two goals and then added two more in the second period before holding on for a 4-3 victory.
On Wednesday, it was more of the same. This time, the Condors scored twice in a 20-second stretch starting with Brad Malone’s goal off an assist from Joe Gambardella just 4:29 into the game. Brad Malone scored at 4:49 to give his team a 2-0 lead off assists from Markus Niemelainen and Gambardella. San Diego tied the game with two first-period goals and eventually took the lead for good 26 seconds into the third period on a goal by Lettieri, his third of the season.
Now on home ice, the Condors will look to end the slide.
On the season, Cooper Marody leads Bakersfield in scoring with two goals and an assist, while Lennstrom, Malone and Niemelainen (goal and an assist), and Gambardella and Stanton (two assists) each have two points apiece.
Although spectators are still not welcome due to COVID-19 restrictions, the local racing season is starting to heat up.
Kern County Raceway Park’s The Dirt Track is hosting motorcycle racing on Saturday in action that is scheduled to feature 10-Time National Speedway Champion Billy Janniro.
Gates open for the event at 1 p.m., with the Professional Speedway race slated for 4 p.m., followed by Flat Track at 6 p.m.
The event serves as a warmup for a pair a busy month of racing at KCRP in March.
Two-Time Chili Bowl champion Rico Abreu is scheduled to compete when the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Series makes its first-ever visit to KCRP on March 5-6.
The following weekend, the track welcomes the USAC/CRA series for its season opener March 12-13, with the Sixth Annual Winter Showdown — featuring a unique payout structure for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series event — highlighting the early KCRP season on March 19-20.
The 150-lap race will feature a payout at the half-way point of the race to encourage more competition during the first part of the event.
Bakersfield Speedway is also gearing up for its season, hosting an open practice for all divisions on Feb. 27, in preparation for its season opener on March 6. Modified, Sportmods, Stock Cars and Mini Stocks are scheduled to compete that night.
Although Cal State Bakersfield is set to start its season next week, a handful of former local high school standouts are scheduled to start their seasons on Friday.
Former Stockdale High graduates Sean Mullen, Jalen Smith and Kaden Sheedy, and Bakersfield High alum Jackson Vaughan all are expected to be in uniform for their respective colleges.
Mullen, the three-time BVarsity All-Area player of the year, is a junior pitcher at UCLA. The 6-foot-1 right-hander had a 0.93 ERA in seven games out of the bullpen last year for the Bruins, who host San Francisco for a three-game series starting Friday.
Smith is a starting second baseman at UC Davis who hit .290 in 16 games last year with two doubles, a triple, nine RBIs and 11 runs scored. The Aggies host Washington State for a four-game series starting Friday.
Sheedy, a right-handed pitcher, is a redshirt freshman at Cal Poly, which opens its season Friday at home with a four-game series against Nevada.
Vaughan, who transferred from San Joaquin Delta College, is a junior right-handed pitcher at Pacific, which opens a four-game series at Cal on Friday.
HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS
Garces is accepting applications for the girls tennis head coaching position, vacated by longtime coach Barb Johnston Hill, who retired earlier this month.
Interested applicants can contact Rams athletic director Gino Lacava at firstname.lastname@example.org.