Condors finish the 2023-24 regular season with 5-3 win over Silver Knights

Bakersfield Condors captain Brad Malone caps his final regular season appearance with a goal and the game's First Star in an eventful 5-3 victory.
Sep 28, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Brad Malone (24) against the Calgary
Sep 28, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Brad Malone (24) against the Calgary / Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, it was announced that Brad Malone was going to retire after this season's AHL playoffs. He is the longest-serving captain in Bakersfield Condors team history.

On Saturday versus the Henderson Silver Knights, the organisation used Fan Appreciation Night as an opportunity to celebrate Malone's achievements and career. Best of all however, he scored the final goal in an entertaining 5-3 win in front of an attendance of 8,017 people at Mechanics Bank Arena.

It wasn't entirely clear if Seth Griffith was attempting a shot or a pass, but regardless, Malone tipped the puck home at the 8:11 mark of the third period to complete the scoring courtesy of a power play. In addition, while sentiment probably played a part, the Condors captain also took home the game's First Star.

A true leader

The 34-year-old will understandably be hoping he can help the Condors win their first Calder Cup in team history. Interestingly, he led them with 13 goals in 10 playoff games following the 2018-19 regular season, so his experience could prove invaluable.

One of the key words when it comes to describing Malone, is durability. He has the most AHL appearances in Condors team history and overall is in his 13th professional season, having played a combined 769 games in the AHL and NHL.

Malone aside, it was important for the Condors to go into the playoffs on a positive note, especially after losing 3-2 the previous night to this same Silver Knights team. They have been inconsistent of late, playing .500 hockey for more than a month, including a 4-4-2 record in their past 10 games.

The Condors goalie situation

Jack Campbell struggled in his first regular season game of the campaign, allowing three goals on just 22 shots. Overall though he has played decently in 2023-24, recovering from a horrific start and going on to finish with a .918 save percentage which is tied for seventh-best in the AHL.

Further, Campbell has better statistics than teammate Olivier Rodrigue, save for the latter recording a career-best 19 wins. Regardless, the Condors appear to be well-placed with one of the stronger AHL goalie tandems entering the playoffs.

This was a night when 10 Condors players ended up on the scoring charts with a point, although Philip Broberg is worthy of particular note. He recorded a game-high three points -- all assists -- and has 15 overall in his past nine games.

For the season, Broberg finished fourth on the Condors with 38 total points and second with 33 helpers. Overall though, Griffith led the team with 48 assists, as well as 63 combined points, which was good enough to finish tied-sixth in the AHL.

The Condors will now wait to see how the Ontario Reign do in their regular season finale, as it will determine if they meet them or the Tucson Roadrunners in the first round of the playoffs. They were 3-4-1 versus the Reign this regular season, compared to an impressive 6-1-1 record against the Roadrunners.

Oilers cannot afford to underestimate the Kings. dark. Next. Oilers cannot afford to underestimate the Kings

However the season plays, Malone has enjoyed a successful career and will always have a special place in his heart for the Condors. Speaking after his retirement announcement, he said: "It has been a 20-year journey since I left home, and this is the only place I’ve called home since leaving. I’m most proud of the relationships we’ve made here with close friends and the culture we’ve created on and off the ice. I’m thankful for my family, staff, teammates and everyone I was able to learn from that came before me."

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