Jack Campbell struggles as Condors lose 4-1 to Canucks

Mar 28, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell (36) warms up before a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 28, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell (36) warms up before a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

Things couldn’t have gone much worse for Jack Campbell in his Bakersfield Condors debut, as they lost 4-1 in Abbotsford versus the Canucks.

Genuine question – is there a saying which goes along the lines of bad luck travelling? Because it sure seems appropriate, when considering Jack Campbell’s debut for the Condors.

Assigned to Bakersfield after clearing waivers, Campbell was hoping to turn his luck around with the Condors. If Thursday night is any indication however, this will be no simple task.

The Condors had started this season 4-1-0, for their best record through five games since joining the AHL in 2015. Now, they’re on their first losing streak of the campaign after their second consecutive defeat, versus the Canucks in Abbotsford.

The 4-1 loss was also the Condor’s biggest defeat of the season thus far, and it just so happened to come in Campbell’s first game with them. As the saying goes which we know does exist, when it rains it pours.

Positive start soon goes awry

Things had started off so well for the Condors, when they took a 1-0 lead just under three minutes into the game. Seth Griffith scored his first goal of the season, assisted by Greg McKegg’s third helper of 2023-24.

Campbell looked decent enough early on, but failed when he faced his first significant challenge of the first period. Despite having the man advantage on a power play, he allowed Nils Aman to score on a breakaway off his own rebound and make it 1-1 at the 12:33 mark.

However, this was nothing compared to the second 20 minutes, when Campbell endured a personal nightmare which effectively buried the Condors. The home side exploded for three goals in the period, to build an insurmountable 4-1 advantage.

The nightmare started, when the Canucks took their first lead of the game in under three minutes of the restart. Making it even worse, Sheldon Dries’ fifth goal of the AHL campaign came in another short-handed scenario.

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Allowing one short-handed goal is bad enough, but two in the same game is inexcusable for the team. However, even this was nothing compared to what happened next to Campbell.

Somehow, someway, the 2010 11th overall draft pick allowed a soft, trickling Aman shot to get between him and the post. Even allowing for it appearing to be slightly deflected, there is no way it should have been a goal.

Regardless, it was 3-1 to the Canucks with just under half the game completed. Marc Gatcomb would make it 4-1 with under five minutes remaining in the second period, to complete the scoring.

Bad night all around for Campbell and the Condors

When it was all said and done, Campbell had only stopped 16 of the 20 shots he faced. Certainly the 3,610 fans in attendance at Abbotsford Centre enjoyed it, as they continually jeered and sarcastically cheered him during the game.

The Condors similarly managed 20 shots on the night, but Arturs Šilvos was up to the challenge for the Canucks. This included not allowing a goal on either of the visitors’ two power play opportunities.

After the game, Campbell discussed his debut. As per Courtney Jacobsen of Sportsnet, he said:

"“Tonight was just about getting out there, a lot of emotions, a lot of nerves. I wanted to do well, didn’t quite go as planned, but you know, for me it’s just about staying with my details. I have some things I have to keep working on to get to the next level in my game. That doesn’t change whether I’m here or up in the NHL.”"

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With the loss, the Condors find themselves in eighth place in the Pacific Division, albeit with multiple games in hand on the majority of teams above them in the standings. Next, they will look to do better against the Canucks on Saturday night, as the two sides renew hostilities at Abbotsford Centre.