Jack Campbell had one of his best performances yet for the Condors, but it wasn’t enough in a 2-1 loss at home to the Eagles on Tuesday.
Field Trip Day meant an early start on Tuesday, with puck drop at 10:30 am. This might explain why the Condors looked half asleep in the offensive efforts during their game versus the Eagles, which they ultimately lost 2-1.
Admittedly we’re being slightly facetious, but it doesn’t change the reality the Condors did struggle to get past Trent Miner, as he took home the game’s First Star. In all, the hosts were only able to beat the Eagles goalie once on the day.
That the Condors managed to remain in with a chance till the end was thanks to Jack Campbell. With one of his best efforts during his stint in Bakersfield, he kept his team in the game, specifically during the first 40 minutes, when the Eagles outshot their opponents 28-18.
The Eagles scored the first goal of the minutes just over a minute into the second period, courtesy of Oskar Olausson’s sixth AHL goal of the season. Admittedly you can make a case he shouldn’t have scored from so far out, but Campbell was partially screened by two of his players.
Regardless, the Condors finally gave the 8,533 students in attendance reason to cheer at the 13:15 mark of the second period. Philip Broberg scored his first AHL goal of the season, doing well to stretch out and poke home Cameron Wright’s pass from the right wing.
After entering the final period, the Condors stepped up their efforts as they looked for the winner. They would outshot the Eagles 14-6 in the last 20 minutes, but just couldn’t get that crucial goal.
Unfortunately for the Condors, they wouldn’t even pick up one point on the day. The visitors scored on a power play opportunity with just 47 seconds remaining, to break the hearts of the home crowd.
The game-winner came as a result of a mad scramble in front of the Condors net. Campbell managed to save a shot, but Tanner Kero was on hand to put home the rebound.
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With the Oilers wanting to give Campbell one final chance to prove himself before making a decision on his future, they will have been encouraged by his performance against the Eagles. However, they should still approach it with caution, given his overall erratic play in Bakersfield, combined with Calvin Pickard looked solid in Edmonton.
Postgame, Condors coach Colin Chaulk was happy with the effort, but not the lack of execution. Speaking to the media, he said:
"“I thought our players played hard, I thought our goaltender was good, I thought our D-men were good. (However), we’ve got to score more than one goal. At the end of the day we need more from the power play. They’re trying, but at the end of the day it’s not good enough.”"
Aside from Campbell, another player hoping to get a recall to the Oilers soon is Broberg. Talking about his performance versus the Eagles, Chaulk said:
"“I thought he was really good (today). Obviously he got the goal, generated some offence and (did) some good things. He skates well, he’s starting to become a man and he’s part of our team. He’s someone that can generate a little bit of everything. Unfortunately we didn’t get the win tonight, but he definitely gave us what he had.”"
With the loss the Condors now drop to 8-9-1 on the season, remain in ninth place in the Pacific Division and worryingly just one point ahead of last position. They are now off until Saturday, when they are in California to play the Firebirds.