Olivier Rodrigue has one of his toughest outings of the season in Condors' 4-2 loss

The Condors take an early lead, but the offence does little else as they lose an important game in Henderson to the lowly Silver Knights.
Bakersfield goaltender Olivier Rodrigue (33) drops to the ice to get on top of the puck during the
Bakersfield goaltender Olivier Rodrigue (33) drops to the ice to get on top of the puck during the / Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY

The Bakerfield Condors have become an up and down team, at a time of the season when they need to be showing more consistency. With Friday night's 4-2 loss to the Silver Knights in Henderson, they are now 4-4-0 in their past eight games.

The loss to the Silver Knights was unexpected, in part because of their low position in the Pacific Division standings. However, also because the Condors are not used to losing to their Henderson rivals, with a 22-8-1 all-time record versus them entering the contest.

Not helping the Condors on Friday night at The Dollar Loan Center, was one of the toughest outings of the season for Olivier Rodrigue. He allowed fours goals on 26 shots, for a .846 save percentage which was his third-worst of 32 games in 2023-24.

Early hope

The game couldn't have actually started much better for Colin Chaulk's players, as they took a lead just 3:28 into the contest on a power play. Seth Griffith -- who else -- supplied a pinpoint cross ice pass, for Lane Pederson to fire home his 21st goal of the AHL season from the edge of the left circle.

However, the Silver Knights took just a shade over two minutes to respond, through Adam Cracknell's 18th goal of 2023-24. Jonas Rondbjerg actually took the initial shot, but Cracknell deflected the puck home in front of a helpless Rodrigue to make it 1-1.

The Condors managed to regain the lead 6:24 into the second period, this time through Dylan Holloway. Raphael Lavoie forced a turnover by the hosts just in front of their own net with some nice hustle, and Holloway was perfectly placed to shoot home with his seventh goal this season for the Condors.

No more scoring for the Condors

Unfortunately for the Condors this would be their final goal of the night. Even going 4-for-4 on the night on the penalty kill didn't help, as the Silver Knights responded with three unanswered goals.

Dysin Mayo tied up the game at 2-2 with just over six minutes remaining in the second period, with a one-timer after a fine setup by Byron Froese. Then with two minutes left in the middle frame, the Silver Knights took their first lead of the contest, as the Condors turned the puck over deep in their own territory for Grigori Denisenko to slot home past Rodrigue.

The final 20 minutes would prove to be the most dominating for the Condors, in respect of a 12-3 advantage in shots on goal. However, the Silver Knights all but secured the two points through Mason Geertsen, as he turned the puck home in front of Rodrigue's net, after a smooth setup through Froese's second helper of the game.

March was always going to be a tough time for the Condors, by virtue of playing 10 of 16 contests on the road. With one more road game remaining in the month they are 4-5-0 on their travels, so at least they still have the opportunity to secure a .500 record.

On the flip side however, the Condors are 8-7-0 for the month as a whole, so could similarly finish March .500 overall, which is not as encouraging. In this respect they need Jack Campbell back asap, to help Rodrigue as one of the best one-two goalie tandems in the AHL.

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With the loss, the Condors fall to 35-24-4 and remain three points away from securing a playoff spot. Next up they will face the Reign in Ontario on Saturday night, in a game where Ryan Fanti is expected to make his first start of the campaign.

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