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Condor's flight sweeps Bakersfield prior to game

Monday, 02.11.2013 / 11:54 AM / News

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Condor's flight sweeps Bakersfield prior to game
Friday night before a Bakersfield Condors-Las Vegas Wranglers game in the ECHL, a live condor put on an unexpected show during the national anthem.

Where were you the night an Andean condor named Queen Victoria produced one of the more memorable pre-game ceremonies to a hockey game?

It occurred Friday during the national anthem at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, California, before the host Bakersfield Condors were set to face off against the Las Vegas Wranglers in an ECHL regular-season matchup.

While the anthem was being sung, a handler pulled the condor from a cage with the intent of having Queen Victoria perch at center ice during the song's duration. Unfortunately, she wouldn't oblige.

After breaking away from the handler, Queen Victoria skipped her way to the Condors bench and hopped on the boards, surprising many of the players. She finally found her way to the tunnel leading to the locker rooms to the delight of those in attendance.

Bakersfield radio broadcasters Kevin Bartl and Ryan Holt, who were calling the game, had quite a story to tell during the live broadcast on Fox Sports Radio 970 AM.

"It's the video that's sweeping the nation," Bartl told NHL.com. "Just to dispel any rumors, [the condor] is not our mascot. We brought it out just to look cool perching out at center ice during the anthem for a night and, well … you know the rest I suppose."

According to Bartl, the condor was in good spirits after the game and was not injured.

Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp