Condors bounce back with convincing 5-1 win over Silver Knights

Bakersfield Condors players celebrate a win after the final buzzer at Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert, Calif., Friday, Oct. 13, 2023.
Bakersfield Condors players celebrate a win after the final buzzer at Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert, Calif., Friday, Oct. 13, 2023. /

The Bakersfield Condors scored an impressive 5-1 victory over the previously unbeaten Henderson Silver Knights, led by two goals from Raphael Lavoie.

The Bakersfield Condors entered Tuesday night facing a tough task at Mechanics Bank Arena. Their opponent was the Henderson Silver Knights, who came into the game with an unblemished 4-0-0 record to start the season.

In addition, the Condors were also looking to bounce back from a disappointing home opener on Saturday night. They had lost 3-2 to the Ontario Reign, and in all honesty the final scoreline had flattered them.

Things didn’t start off to well on Tuesday night either, as the visitors took the lead at the 6:01 mark of the first period. Sheldon Rempal scored his fifth goal in five games, to give the Silver Knights a 1-0 advantage.

The Silver Knights seemed in control, as evidenced by a 14-9 advantage in shots on goal during the opening 20 minutes. However, unlike the home opener, the Condors displayed more fight in this one.

A five-goal response

The home side’s determination would pay off with just under five minutes remaining in the first period, courtesy of Lane Pederson. It was the second goal of the season for Pederson, who’s presenting an early case to be given a chance at some point for the Oilers.

In this respect, the goal was also notable for Sam Gagner getting the assist in his first game for the Condors since signing his contract. He played left wing on the second line alongside Pederson and Xavier Bourgault, to help showcase the talent in Bakersfield.

Galvanized by tying up the game, the Condors came flying out of the gates to begin the second period. The result was two goals within three minutes, to establish a solid 3-1 lead for the hosts.

Oil On Whyte
Oil On Whyte /

Want your voice heard? Join the Oil On Whyte team!

Write for us!

First up it was Raphael Lavoie with his first goal of the season, which came on the power-play and was assisted by Pederson and Bourgault. Then Jayden Grubbe grabbed the first goal of his professional career, with the helpers going to Brad Malone and Noel Hoefenmayer.

The Condors had a 12-9 edge in shots on goal during the second period and still weren’t finished. Ben Gleason became the third player to score his first goal of the season, as Gagner got his second assist of the game and Carter Savoie notched his first helper.

At 4-1 after 40 minutes, the Condors seemed all but home and dry. However, they removed any doubt at the 10:38 mark on a power-play, as Lavoie grabbed his second goal of the game, assisted by Bourgault and Pederson both getting their second helpers.

Strong defensive play

Olivier Rodrigue was excellent on the night between the pipes, as he stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced in the 5-1 win. In addition, the penalty-kill deserves credit, as the Silver Knights went 0-for-6 with the man-advantage.

Postgame, Condors coach Colin Chaulk was asked by the media what was different compared to Saturday night. He said:

"“The best part about it was we were able to have some hard conversations with our guys. We were able to practice and fine-tune a few things, but really it was the players getting back on the horse and doing it again. A quick turnaround is always nice and their effort, their compete, their finish, their will … it was much different, and that’s pro sports. You’re graded on a daily basis and we were really happy with our team effort tonight.”"

Grubbe also spoke to the media and was asked about scoring his first goal, with his response alluding to a mature and team-first attitude. He said:

"“Yeah, it’s nice to get that out of the way early in the season. I don’t have to think about it now, I can just go and play. But it’s nice to get back in the win column and heading into the weekend, that’s big for us.”"

Time to call up some Condors to the Oilers?. dark. Next

With the win, the Condors improve to 2-1-0 on this young season. Next up, they travel to Arizona to play the Tucson Roadrunners.