It was a tough night for Jack Campbell between the pipes, but the Condors got revenge for their previous game versus the Stars, with a 6-4 win.
There was plenty at stake for the Condors on Saturday night in a rematch with the Stars, after losing a day earlier to them in a shootout. They had arguably been the better team, but gave up two late leads in the third period and ultimately had to settle for just one point.
There was also a lot at stake for Jack Campbell, as he got the start after Olivier Rodrigue had played in Friday’s game. Campbell was facing his former AHL team, while also looking to prove he’s worthy of a recall to the Oilers.
In the end, the Condors got revenge with a victory at Mechanics Bank Arena. However, Campbell didn’t particularly help his case for a recall, as he allowed four goals in the 6-4 win.
In this respect the tone was set early, as the 2010 11th overall draft pick allowed the first goal just 36 seconds into the game. He really should have done better with Matej Blumel’s shot from wide left, as the forward gave the Stars an early 1-0 lead.
Fortunately for Campbell, his team had come to play and in an even first period, the Condors tied the game at the 11:51 mark. The goal came on a power play, with Lane Pederson prodding the puck home after a scramble in front of the visitor’s net.
Goal frenzy in the second
As entertaining as the first period was, it couldn’t have prepared fans for the goal frenzy which would ensue during the second 20 minutes. In all, there were five goals during a hectic middle period.
Cameron Wright got things going after just 36 seconds, as he fired home a beauty for the 2-1 advantage after being set up down the right wing by Drake Caggiula. It was Caggiula’s second helper of the game, one night after leading the Condors with three points.
The lead didn’t last long however, as the Stars tied it up at 2-2 within four minutes. Scott Reedy scored, although in Campbell’s defence it did come via a deflection.
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The Condors responded in the best possible way, retaking the lead just under two minutes later thanks to Ben Gleason. The defenceman got a highlight reel goal against his former team, after picking up the puck just inside his own half and then slicing through the Stars before firing home with the wrist shot.
The Condors appeared to take control just past the halfway point of the contest, on another power play. Pederson scored his second of the game on the one-timer, as the hosts increased their lead to 4-2.
However, any illusion that Colin Chaulk’s team would coast home from this point, was soon dispelled. Campbell did save the initial shot in the buildup, but Blumel fired home the rebound for his second of the game, as the Stars pulled to within 4-3 at the 16:38 mark of the second.
An eventful final period
The Condors did get a little breathing space again, just over three minutes into the final period. Xavier Bourgault scored thanks to a deflection, to make it 5-3 to the home team.
Again though the Star refused to go away, and they made it 5-4 with just under seven minutes remaining in the contest. As with the first goal Campbell allowed, he should have done better with Derrick Pouliot’s wrist shot.
It made for a nervy few minutes, before Wright settled the affair with his second of the game and third of the season. Wright fired home a pinpoint pass from Noel Hoefenmayer, to make it 6-4 with 2:25 remaining.
Pederson got the game’s First Star thanks to his two goals, while Wright earned the Third Star with his own double. Caggiula was awarded the Second Star after his three assists made it two consecutive games — and nights — of three points.
As for Campbell, he finished with 31 saves off the 35 shots he faced on goal. However, he did help the Condors blank the Stars on the penalty kill, as the visitors went 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
The Condors now have five out of a possible six points in their past three games. Talking to the media about the confidence this can give the team, coach Chaulk said:
"“I think they realise now with these three games here, I think it was a real consistent effort. We’re excited that we got points in all three of them, so we’re happy with that. I think our team knows how we need to play (moving forward).”"
With the win, the Condors improved to 7-7-1 on the season and moved up to eighth in the Pacific Division. Next up they will travel to Ontario, to play the Reign on Friday night.