The Condors should have been rewarded with a much better outcome from this two-game weekend, but all they fly out of it with is one point.
Friday night, the Condors let two leads slip away and settled for a loser point in a 6-5 shootout loss in San Diego against Dallas Eakins’ Gulls. On Saturday night, the Condors outplayed and out-chanced the San Jose Barracuda but absolutely zero bounces went their way as they dropped a home-ice 4-3 verdict.
“One goes in off a deflection, the other hits the end board, goes off Hunt and in, the other goes off the ref, but at the end of the day I thought we played well enough to win. We keep giving points away. We have to manage the puck better. We’ve got to make better decisions, we’ve got to have a little more composure with the puck in those critical areas of the ice and make better plays.” -Condors head coach Gerry Fleming
Hunt – Oesterle
Nurse – Musil
Pageau – LaLeggia
Hamilton – Draisaitl – Ford
Khaira – Yakimov – Christoffer
Miller – McRae – Pakarinen
Moroz – Platzer – Kessy
- Andrew Milller swats the puck just wide 30 seconds into the Condors first breakout.
- A 2-on-1 develops with Leon Draisaitl and Matthew Ford. Draisaitl keeps and drags the puck to the slot but is stopped by San Jose goalie Aaron Dell.
- After a couple of stops by Eetu Laurikainen, the Condors get some pressure back on the Barracuda. Ford is set up again by Draisaitl, Brad Hunt gets away a one-timer, and Draisaitl almost pots a rebound. No reward.
- Braden Christoffer is in alone from the San Jose blueline after stripping Mark Cundari. The rookie pro tries to go five-hole but Dell turns it away.
- 1-0 San Jose – Ryan Carpenter is deep in the corner and tries a pass into the slot. It looks to be a harmless play until the puck banks off Bogdan Yakimov’s skate and slides gently past the goal line at 6:16. Michael Haley is credited with the marker. The goal foreshadows a grim night of bounces to come for the Condors.
- The Condors start to recover from the goal and get another 2-on-1 but Andrew Miller waits too long in getting the puck over the Phil McRae who’s in too tight to the net to manage anything other than a poke of the puck.
- Kyle Platzer crunches Carpenter near the San Jose bench and the Barracuda winger retaliates which draws both Kale Kessy and Mitch Moroz. The teams go 4-on-4. The Condors get two good chances with the extra ice, both from defencemen. Darnell Nurse drives the net off the halfboards and tries to stuff it in to no avail. Jordan Oesterle blasts a shot from the wing but Dell gets just enough of it to keep it out.
- Draisaitl puts on his playmaker hat again as he sets up Nurse in the high slot but his hard wrister goes just wide.
- 2-0 San Jose – Laurikainen makes a save, but Hunt attempts a blind clearing in front of the net that hits a Barracuda and Bryan Lerg deposits the puck at 2:30.
- Barracuda tough guy Trevor Parkes puts Joey LaLeggia into the glass. The Condors draw a penalty a few moments later and get a great chance on a quick 6-on-5 as David Musil’s high shot went off the glass and Ford just missed putting the bouncer away.
- 2-1 Condors (PP) – Miller comes off the halfboards and puts a pass through the San Jose player’s feet to the point for Hunt who then slides it cross-ice to McRae. From the top of the circle, McRae’s low blast goes through the pads of Dell at 13:16.
- 2-2 Condors (PP) – The Condors go right back on the power play and Hunt further makes up for his blunder as his low shot on net comes off the goalie to Ford who finishes the scramble at 15:45.
- More Draisaitl power as he comes out of the corner muscling past San Jose defender Karl Stollery and sets up Miller but his shot is a miss.
- Only eight seconds in and Musil’s attempted pass flutters off his stick right to Petter Emanuelsson who rings it off the post.
- The Condors get away with one at the San Jose blue line but are called for a penalty moments later when Ford drives the net and wipes out Dell.
- 3-2 Condors – San Jose doesn’t mount much at all against a stiff Condor penalty kill. The Condors come out of the kill with a 3-on-1 including Ford right out of the box. Ford winds up with the puck and zings it up high. Is it in? The Condors think so. It goes to video review, and yes, it’s off the near post and then under the bar before exiting the net at 3:53.
- 3-3 – Another bad bounce for the Condors. A point shot goes off the end boards, hits Hunt, and probably Parkes too, who gets credit for the strange one.
- San Jose puts another bouncing puck on net and believe that, too, has gone in. It doesn’t go to video review, however, as the wave-off is confirmed by both referees after a brief huddle.
- Iiro Pakarinen gets elbowed and draws a penalty. The best chance for Bakersfield comes as McRae is the late trailer on a rush but his shot is blocked.
- Pakarinen then is called for a high stick with 4:54 to go.
- 4-3 San Jose (PP) – With only 15 seconds to go in the penalty, Musil tries to clear the puck out of the corner and it looks like he’s got a ton of open ice. Unfortunately, the referee is standing there. It goes off the ref right to Carpenter who taps it to Haley who tucks the puck behind a startled Laurikainen.
- The Condors are hemmed in while trying to get an extra attacker on. Their last opportunity to form a breakout is done in when LaLeggia turns the puck over at the Bakersfield blue line.
FROM THE CONDORS NEST
“We missed the net in glorious opportunities about five or six occasions coming right down the pipe. After the second period, we talked about it that we’ve got to hit the net to get those second or even third chances. It comes down to execution and making those simple plays. Even at the end, we’re on a 3-on-2 and the puck bounces over our stick. You’ve got to bear down in those situations and know that the game is on the line.” -Fleming
- Oilers fans are clamouring for Draisaitl to get called up. After this game, he can’t be far off. He didn’t draw a point but if he wasn’t the most dominant player on the ice, it would be difficult to argue for anyone else.
- The game was Exhibit ‘A’ of why Brad Hunt is not an NHL regular. He can create things with the puck, but the clearing attempt that resulted in a Barracuda goal was U-G-L-Y.
- The outcome wasn’t what it should have been considering the number of chances the Condors blew which all in all spoiled Laurikainen’s North American pro debut.
“He was fine. He a couple bad breaks and I felt bad for him, but he made some critical saves when we had some breakdowns. He just had some unfortunate bounces.” -Fleming
- The Condors sat out Tyler Pitlick, Josh Winquist, and Martin Gernat. Still no word on visa issues for Ben Scrivens and Nikita Nikitin. Laurent Brossoit, who started Bakersfield’s first three games and played Friday in San Diego, was the back-up netminder.
- Craig MacTavish took in the game along with the Oilers’ California-based scout Chris Cichoki.
- Scouts from Winnipeg, Chicago, Colorado, and the New York Rangers were on-hand.
- Michael Haley – San Jose
- Matthew Ford – Condors
- Brad Hunt – Condors