Condors' points streak ended in 2-1 loss to Eagles in Colorado

Olivier Rodrigue suffers his first regulation loss in eight starts between the pipes, as the Bakersfield Condors see their points streak halted at nine games.

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 Condors headed to Colorado on Tuesday night, to play their second game of the 2023-24 season versus the Eagles. Colin Chaulk's team entered the contest in confident mood, after picking up 16 of a possible 18 points.

In addition, the Condors were playing an opponent which was only two points above them in the Pacific Division standings, and with a so-so 8-7-1 record on home ice. Unfortunately for everyone concerned though, the Eagles emerged victorious 2-1, as the visitors failed to pick up any points for the first time in 10 games.

All of the damage was done during the opening period, despite the Condors actually having a 12-7 advantage in shots on goal. However, the hosts scored twice in the first 6:31, to take a lead which they would not relinquish.

The Eagles' first goal came at the 4:34 mark, courtesy of Brad Hunt's long range effort for his 10th goal of the AHL season. You can make an argument that Rodrigue should have done better given the distance of the shot, although it did come on a power play and with a couple of teammates potentially screening him.

The second goal by the hosts was less on Rodrigue, with it coming as a result of a mad scramble involving nearly every skater on the ice right in front of his net and him unable to locate the puck. It did go to a review, but the goal stood and the Condors were stunned to find themselves down by two less than seven minutes into the contest.

A glimmer of hope

The Condors finally made their pressure count with under two minutes remaining in the first period, to cut the lead in half. Lane Pederson had the primary helper, as his pinpoint pass set up Noel Hoefenmayer at the far post with a chance he just couldn't miss, to score his fourth goal of the season.

AHL All-Star Raphael Lavoie could have tied the game at 2-2 just 11 seconds into the second period, but his shot was well saved by Trent Miner. The Condors continued to push forward but were unable to get the necessary breakthrough, including going 0-for-2 on the power play.

Rodrigue did his part to keep the Condors in contention, stopping all 18 shots he faced during the final 40 minutes. However, his teammates just couldn't score again past Miner, who ended up with the game's First Star in the home side's 2-1 win in front of 5,089 fans at Blue Arena.

When it was all said and done, Rodrigue saved 23 of 25 shots overall and he remains tied-third for best save percentage among all qualifying AHL goalies. As a team, the Condors have now allowed two or less goals in six of their past eight games.

Of note, Pederson now have six points in six games, while Holloway picked up his third point in three contests since his return from a knee injury. As for Seth Griffith, he remains one point short of tying the all-time Condors AHL record by a player.

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With the loss the Condors fall to 15-11-3 on the season and remain eighth in the Pacific Division standings, albeit with at least five games in hand on everyone above them. They will get a chance at revenge on Wednesday night, with a rematch versus the Eagles in Colorado.

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