Thanks to burst water pipes and flooding in San Diego last weekend, the Condors had not played since Jan. 3. However, they soon shook off the rust -- or should that be wrung out their clothes -- as they went to San Jose on Friday night and took care of business.
Olivier Rodrigue again starred and gave the Oilers more evidence of why he should be called up for his NHL debut. The goaltender stopped 36 of the 38 shots he faced versus the Barracuda, with him being particularly impressive during the third period in the 3-2 win.
The hosts dominated the shot count 19-6 during the final 20 minutes, but could only beat Rodrigue once. Plus, the goal came with just 37 seconds remaining, off a rebound after a save and with an extra skater on the ice.
The Condors had actually fallen behind in the opening period, despite a 12-9 edge in shots on goals. Ethan Cardwell scored his 10th AHL goal of the season at the 12:12 mark against the run of play, for a 1-0 advantage to the Barracuda.
The visitors continued to have more chances during the second period, and finally had their pressure pay off courtesy of a Seth Griffith goal on the power play. The helper was supplied by AHL All-Star Raphael Lavoie, and as a result the two sides went into the final period tied at 1-1.
Fast start to the final period
The Condors took their first lead of the game just 66 seconds into the third, thanks to an impressive short-handed goal by Ben Gleason. It was Gleason's sixth AHL goal of the season and the visitors would not trail again.
Just over two minutes later the Condors increased their lead to 3-1, thanks to Dylan Holloway on another power play which also turned out to be the game winner. It was notable for the fact it came in Holloway's first game since returning from an injury on Nov. 13.
Arguably of just as much significance, Griffith supplied the primary assist on the goal. As a result, he is now on 187 career points for the Condors, one shy of the all-time team AHL record of 188.
It looked as if the Condors had finished the Barracuda off with nine minutes left, after Lavoie scored. However, it was immediately waived off and the scoreline remained at 3-1 to the visitors.
Rodrigue holds firm
Regardless, Rodrigue all but shut the door on any potential comeback, as he withstood a frenzied barrage of shots from the hosts. And despite the late scare, the Condors held on for a hard-fought 3-2 win.
in truth Rodrigue needed a good night between the pipes, after a couple of bad games by his standards, when he allowed a combined nine goals. As of Saturday morning, he now sits tied-third among all qualifying AHL goalies, with a .926 save percentage.
As for the Condors as a whole, they have now taken 14 points out of a possible 16 in their past eight games. They also improve to 12-1-3 this season, when scoring at least three goals.
With the 3-2 win, the Condors improve to 14-10-3 and remain in eight place in the Pacific Division. However, they have between five and nine games in hand on everyone above them in the standings, with Friday's contest representing the first of a hectic schedule of an AHL-high 46 games in 100 days.
The Condors now return home on Saturday night to renew hostilities with the Barracuda at Mechanics Bank Arena. As per the official site, they will wear special jerseys to represent Fighting Cancer Night, with five jerseys being auctioned post-game online.