Condors come up short in 4-3 shootout loss to Stars

Sep 24, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Drake Caggiula (8) follows the play against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Drake Caggiula (8) follows the play against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

Drake Caggiula stars for the Condors with three points, but they give up a late lead and ultimately lose 4-3 at home via the shootout.

There was no denying the Bakersfield Condors faced a tough challenge on Friday night, despite playing at home. Their opponent was the Texas Stars, who entered the contest leading the Central Division and with an excellent 7-2-0 record on the road.

As such, when the Stars took a 1-0 lead after just 89 seconds through Logan Stankoven’s 14th goal of the season, the rout appeared to be on. However, we should know by now that this Condors team never gives up.

Backed by Olivier Rodrigue looking good in just his fourth start of the season, the Condors shut the door after the early goal. Rodrigue stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced during the first two periods.

First AHL goal

Despite this, it looked as if the Condors would go into the final period still down 1-0. However, Cameron Wright then chose the ideal moment to score his first AHL goal with a nice turn and shot, to make it 1-1 with just 1:21 remaining in the second period.

The home side then took their first lead of the night just 2:37 into the final period. Lane Pederson fired home after a pinpoint pass from Drake Caggiula, with his second helper of the game.

It looked as if the Condors were going to hang on for a precious two points, but the game took a wild turn inside the final five minutes of the third period. First, the Stars tied it up 2-2 at the 16:48 mark, courtesy of Oskar Back.

Then, Caggiula appeared to restore the Condors’ lead with just 2:32 remaining, with his first goal of the season. However, it was only officially awarded after a review, but again, the home side looked set to claim the two points.

Oil On Whyte
Oil On Whyte /

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

Write for us!

Unfortunately for the 3,559 fans in attendance at Mechanics Bank Arena, the Stars had other ideas. They again tied up the game, this time with an extra skater, through Curtis McKenzie with only 85 seconds remaining, and the two teams headed to overtime.

The visitors were the better team during the extra period, with a 4-0 shots on goal advantage. However, Rodrigue and the Condors held on to take the game to the dreaded shootout.

A point lost

It was ultimately to no avail though, as the Stars secured the 4-3 win in the fourth round of the shootout. After looking like certain winners, the Condors had to settle for just the one point.

Overall, the Condors were outshot 38-32 on the night and went 0-for-3 on the power play. However, at least they also held the Stars scoreless on two power plays, on a night when Rodrigue stopped 34 of the 37 shots he faced.

It was a big night for Caggiula, who took home the game’s Third Star with his three-point performance. However, we’re sure he would have gladly swapped this for the win.

Condors coach Colin Chaulk was asked what he has seen recently that he likes and wants to carry into the upcoming games. Speaking postgame to the media, he said:

"“What I’ve seen, especially in the last two games, is that we got what we deserved. We feel like when we’re playing the right way, we’re winning games. Unfortunately we didn’t get two points tonight, but we did get a point; we were a minute away from getting two. … We liked our team effort (tonight) and our game plan, and we stuck with it. We’re excited to get some rest here and get back after it tomorrow night.”"

Next. Jack Campbell builds his case for a recall. dark

With the shootout loss, the Condors dropped to 6-7-1 on the season and remained in ninth position in the Pacific Division. They will now aim to get revenge against the Stars on Saturday night, in a game which Jack Campbell is expected to get the start against his former team.