Jack Campbell has one of his worst performances yet for the Condors, resulting in being pulled just past the halfway point of the game versus the Firebirds.
Coming off a strong performance in his last start for the Condors, Jack Campbell had something to build on. Unfortunately for everyone concerned, he followed up one of his best outings in Bakersfield with one of his worst.
Despite playing on the road to a team which went to the Calder Cup Finals last season, the Condors seemed to have a good chance heading in. The Firebirds entered the night with just a 3-6-1 record at home, as opposed to a sterling 10-1-0 record on their travels.
In addition, the Condors had opened their 2023-24 season with an impressive 3-2 win in the desert versus the FIrebirds. In the end though none of it mattered, as the Condors came up flat and lost 5-2, with the chief culprit being Campbell.
Close early on
The game was an even affair during the first 20 minutes, with the Firebirds only having a slight 10-9 edge in shots on goal. The hosts took a 1-0 lead at the 11:37 mark, as Logan Morrison finished off a two-on-one chance.
However, it only took the Condors 16 seconds to respond in style. Dino Kambeitz sliced through the Firebirds defence to tie the game up at 1-1, with the assist going to Carter Savoie.
Unfortunately for the Condors, they couldn’t carry the momentum through to the second period and it would get ugly. And the person who it got most ugly for, was Campbell.
The Firebirds only needed 69 seconds in the second period to regain the lead, through Tucker Robertson. The goal came after a desperate scramble in front of the Condors net, with the visitors unable to clear the danger.
It would only get worse for the Condors, as they were soon down 3-1. Max McCormick got a gift for his 11th AHL goal of the season, with his wrist shot somehow getting through Campbell.
The end was close for the 2010 11th overall draft, and it came at the 11:09 mark of the second period. Peetro Seppela scored from the left wing — his first of the season — with a shot that shouldn’t have found the back of the net.
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Regardless, it was 4-1 to the Firebirds, and Condors coach Colin Chaulk had no choice but to take Campbell out. The goalie finished with 17 stops on 21 shot attempts, for a .810 save percentage.
Olivier Rodrigue took over between the pipes and soon after allowed another goal, to make it 5-1 to the home side. However, he managed to shut up shop after this, and finish the game with 15 saves on 16 shots.
Raphael Lavoie would respond for the Condors at the 16:01 mark of the second period, with his eighth of the season. However, this was as close as they would get, with the game finishing 5-2 after a goalless final period.
What to do with Campbell
The Condors look little like the team which began this season with their best ever start through five games. Fair or not, their downturn in results coincided with the arrival of Campbell from the Oilers.
The 31-year-old has just not impressed, arguably only having two strong outings and allowing four or more goals in six of his 10 appearances. Overall, he has a 4-5-1 record, while producing a 3.46 Goals Against Average and .888 save percentage in the process.
The Oilers would still ideally like to give Campbell one more chance before making a decision on what to do with him. However, it’s tough to justify recalling him, until he starts showing more consistency.
As for the Condors as a whole, they are now 8-10-1 on the season and drop to last place in the Pacific Division. Next up they return home on Wednesday night, to face the Pacific Division-leading Calgary Wranglers.