Condors continue recent up and down form with 4-3 loss to the Reign

The Bakersfield Condors fell behind early on Sunday afternoon in Ontario and could just never quite get back on track in a frustrating defeat to the Reign.
Bakersfield goaltender Olivier Rodrigue (33) skates away from the net to stay loose during a break
Bakersfield goaltender Olivier Rodrigue (33) skates away from the net to stay loose during a break / Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY

The Bakersfield Condors have been inconsistent of late, with Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Ontario Reign giving them a 3-3-0 record in their past six games. To further highlight the recent erratic form, this stretch includes a dominating 4-0 win last weekend versus the very same Reign team which beat them on Sunday afternoon.

One of the key differences between the two games against the Reign, was who started between the pipes. Whereas Jack Campbell stopped all 29 shots he faced in the 4-0 win, Olivier Rodrigue fared less well in the rematch, at Toyota Arena.

The Reign struck first, inside three minutes for an early 1-0 advantage. Brandt Clarke set up the opportunity and Akil Thomas gave Rodrigue no chance with the one-timer, for his 20th goal of the AHL campaign.

Fortunately for the Condors they did not allow any more goals in the opening 20 minutes, and tied the game early in the second period on a power play. Lane Pederson had the primary assist and Dylan Holloway shot early, to make it 1-1 at the 3:37 mark.

Hope turns to disappointment

The Reign would retake the lead at the 12:10 mark, through Nikita Pavlychev. The goal came as a result of a scramble infront of Rodrigue's net, and it was noteworthy for Ryan Francis getting his first assist of the season.

The hosts would extend their lead to 3-1 with a shade over three minutes remaining in the middle period. Jacob Doty was the only Reign player around the net among three Condors defenders, but somehow the puck ended up at his feet and he fired home past a helpless Rodrigue.

The Condors stepped up the tempo on the third period, as they dominated the shot-count 11-6. And it only took them 1:28 to get back to within 3-2.

The goal came on another power play for the visitors. Ben Gleason played Matvey Petrov through on goal with a sublime assist that split the Reign defence in half, and the latter couldn't fail to score.

Game over for the Condors

With time winding down, coach Colin Chaulk decided to go with the extra skater as the Condors went in search of the tying goal. However, Pederson got sloppy with the puck and turned it over to Akil Thomas, who broke down the left wing and scored the empty-netter to make it 4-2 with 64 seconds remaining.

The Condors did manage to score one more through Carter Savoie, but it came too late with just 14 seconds left. Savoie essentially redirected Petrov's shot, for his seventh goal of the season.

For the game Rodrigue finished with 19 saves on 22 shot attempts at goal. He has lost his excellent form from earlier in the season, with defeats in four of his past seven starts and only twice in that period allowing less than three goals.

With the 4-3 loss, the Condors drop to 30-5-1 in games this season where they have scored at least three goals. On the more positive side, they have now staved off 32 of the past 33 penalty kill situations they have faced.

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With the loss the Conors drop to 34-23-4 on the season and remain in fifth place in the Pacific Division, five points behind second place. Next up they will be in San Diego on Wednesday night, for a clash with the Gulls.

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