Condors fall short versus Silver Knights despite outstanding effort by Rodrigue

Olivier Rodrigue saves a career high 42 shots against the Henderson Silver Knights, but the Bakersfield Condors still lose 3-2 in overtime on the road.
Sep 24, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Olivier Rodrigue (35) skates
Sep 24, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Olivier Rodrigue (35) skates / Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

In their last game, the Bakersfield Condors lost 4-3 in overtime to the Ontario Reign. As a result, it ended their chances of home-ice advantage in the first round of the AHL playoffs.

On Friday night the Condors once more lost in overtime, this time at the hands of the lowly Henderson Silver Knights. The 3-2 defeat also continued their recent indifferent form, which has effectively seen them play .500 hockey over the past month, including a record of 4-4-2 in the past 10 games.

One person who can't be blamed for the lastest defeat, is Olivier Rodrigue. He faced a career-high 45 shots on goal, but also finished the game with a career-best 42 saves.

Overall, the 2023-24 regular season proved to be the best campaign of Rodrigue's professional career to date. Among other things, he set career-highs of 37 games played, 19 wins, a .916 save percentage and 2.73 Goals Against Average.

In respect of Saturday night's game at Lee’s Family Forum, the Condors fell behind just 4:09 into the contest. Byron Froese won a faceoff deep in the visitor's territory and the puck fell to Sheldon Rempal, who confidently finished past a stranded Rodrigue for his 27th goal of the AHL season.

An excellent second 20 minutes

The second period proved to be the best one for the Condors on the night, as they came back with two goals in less than a minute to take a 2-1 lead. Dino Kambeitz and Jayden Grubbe respectively both scored their eighth goal of the campaign.

Kambeitz's effort was particularly impressive, as he flew down the right wing, weaved his way through the Silver Knights defence and fired home to make it 1-1 at the 15:38 mark. Then just 56 seconds later Grubbe couldn't help but score right in front of the home goal, after being set up beautifully by the combination of Raphael Lavoie and Ty Tullio.

The Silver Knights turned up the pressure in the third period, as they outshot the Condors 15-8. They eventually broke through at the 11:16 mark on a power play to make it 2-2, as Gage Quinney's bullet pass from the right was fired home by Froese in the left circle.

Overtime saw the Condors fail to create any chances, with them ultimately paying for this after 2:30 of the extra period. Grigori Denisenko was given far too much time and space before scoring the winner via a wrist shot, with Rodrigue appearing to be screened by one of his own players.

The Condors now see their all-time record versus the Silver Knights drop to 22-9-2, which includes a 5-1-1 record this season. On an individual level, Marc Lajoie made his professional debut with the Condors on Friday night.

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With the loss, the Condors record goes to 38-27-6 and they remain in sixth position in the Pacific Division. They will conclude their regular season on Saturday night at home, with an immediate chance at revenge versus the Silver Knights in a game where Jack Campbell will get the start.

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