Condors come up short at home in 2-1 loss to the Reign

Sep 24, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Olivier Rodrigue (35) 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 goaltender Olivier Rodrigue (35) follows the play against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Condors come undone due to two goals in the space of 26 seconds during the second period, as the Reign gains revenge for the previous night’s loss.

Compared to Friday night, the Condors put in a better defensive effort. However, they also struggled to score themselves, one night after beating the Reign 6-4 in Ontario.

As a result, the Condors ultimately lost 2-1 on Saturday night, in the second of a back-to-back versus the Reign. The defeat ended a run of points in four consecutive games.

One night after Jack Campbell had allowed four goals, Olivier Rodrigue put in a solid effort. In just his fifth game of the AHL season, he stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced.

Unfortunately for Rodrigue though, he was undone by a 26-second spell during the second period. First, the Reign scored at the 4:36 mark thanks to Charles Hudon’s 10th goal of the season.

The Condors goalie arguably could have saved the shot, which came on the power play. In his defence though, he looked like he was partially screened by his own player.

Regardless, Rodrigue should have done better with the second Reign goal, which came almost as soon as play was restarted. Francesco Pinelli flew down the left wing on a 3-on-3 chance, before letting rip with a wrist shot.

Lack of a scoring push

The Condors were stunned, after previously taking a 1-0 lead just past the halfway point of the opening period. Carter Savoie tipped in Ty Tullio’s shot just after a power play opportunity had expired, for his first goal of the season.

Unfortunately for the 6.437 in attendance at Mechanics Bank Arena, this was all the Condors could manage one night after scoring six. They were outshot 27-23 and went 0-for-3 on the power play.

For Rodrigue, he is now 2-2-1 on the season in his five starts. While still early, his .935 save percentage and 2.17 Goals Against Average are both projected to be career-best.

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The coach speaks

Postgame, Condors coach Colin Chaulk was asked about the 26 seconds when the Reign scored twice to overcome their 1-0 deficit. Speaking to the media, he said:

"“That was the tale of the game. I felt like Ontario was sleepy up until that point. They scored a power play goal and a shift after a goal is obviously something that we talk about. I think that’s one we’d like to have back. … We stopped playing in the second period. I know our guys are trying and they’re giving what they have, but our standard, our expectations are much higher than that. So it was 26 seconds, but it was really the second period (as a whole) that cost us that game.”"

Overall though, Chaulk was happy with the effort in the two games against a team which has the second-best record in the Western Conference. He said:

"“We need to focus on us, we need to focus on the things we do well. We’re a blue collar, hard-working team. We got a little bit away from (what we do) for a period. Our group has been giving a lot and everybody has been contributing to get this club back to .500 and above .500. We need to take a day here to rest and reset.”"

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With the loss, the Condors dropped to 8-8-1 on the season, while also falling to ninth position in the Pacific Division. Next up they will host the Colorado Eagles on Tuesday, in a game which will begin at 10:30 am.