The Bakersfield Condors just can’t get anything going, as the Calgary Wranglers complete a back-to-back sweep with a dominating 4-1 win.
For some reason the Tom Petty song ‘Free Fallin’ comes to mind. The Bakersfield Condors are in a significant slump, searching frantically for a way to recover.
The optimism of October has been replaced by a nightmare November. The Condors have gone from the best start in their AHL history through five games, to losing five games in a row.
Of course it doesn’t help that two of the Condors’ best contributors from earlier this season are now in the NHL with the Oilers. More specifically Raphael Lavoie and Sam Gagner, with the former still first in team points despite only playing five games.
It also doesn’t help that the disaster that is Jack Campbell, has arrived in Bakersfield and subsequently continued to perform poorly. In fact if anything he’s been even worse in the AHL, highlighted by allowing five goals in Tuesday night’s 6-3 loss to the Calgary Wranglers.
In this respect, while it may sound harsh to say, you imagine Condors fans were happy to see a brief respite from the Campbell experience on Wednesday night. Not that the rematch with the Wranglers went any better.
The Condors still lost 4-1, although this doesn’t mean Olivier Rodrigue struggled like his fellow goalie. If anything, it was his performance much stopped the final scoreline from being even more one-sided.
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The Wranglers came out firing, with a commanding 16-7 shots on goal advantage during the opening 20 minutes. That the Wranglers only scored once — and that came on a power play — again alludes to the fine performance of Rodrigue.
The second period proved to be closer, although the home side still doubled their advantage to 2-0 just past the midway point. However, the Condors took less than a minute to respond, courtesy of Cam Dineen scoring for a second consecutive night.
The Condors’ goal was notable for Cameron Wright getting his first ever AHL point. At 2-1 however, this was as close as the visitors would get to clawing something back from the game.
The Wranglers stepped up their game in the final period, with a shots on goal advantage of 14-6. Ilya Solovyov and Emilio Pettersen both scored before the period was half-complete, to make it 4-1 and secure a win which in reality was never really in doubt.
The Condors didn’t take advantage of their power play opportunities, going 0-for-3 on the night. However, this was just one of several reasons why they were second-best on the night.
Rodrigue finished with 37 saves on 41 shot attempts. This is even more impressive, when you consider Wednesday night was his first start for 18 days.
With the loss, the Condors drop to 4-6-0 on the season and down to ninth place in the Pacific Division. They now return home and will face the Henderson Silver Knights next Tuesday night at Mechanics Bank Arena.