Bakersfield Condors drop testy 2-1 affair with Calgary Wranglers
By Zach Laing1 month ago
CALGARY — It was Star Wars night at the Calgary Saddledome and there was more than enough tension on the ice as the home Wranglers and visiting Bakersfield Condors danced to the tunes of a Catina band.
A few shots here and there and with more than enough post-whistle scrums came to ahead when Bakersfield Condors rearguard Alex Peters dropped the mitts with Wranglers forward Adam Klapka early in the third period — the latter of whom was looking for a dance partner all night. It appeared to calm things down until the dying seconds of the game.
The Wranglers were clear-as-day offside ahead of Walker Duehr’s game-winner that gave the home side a 2-1 victory, but the officials missed it. No review, and an irate Condors side nearly traded blows with the Wranglers after the final whistle. It was just a fraction of the adversity the Bakersfield side faced all night with some poor officiating.
The Condors were forced to kill off seven penalties — one that saw Brett Sutter score for the Wranglers — on a night where they only had three power-plays of their own. It wasn’t like these were clear-as-day calls against the Bakersfield side, either. They were ticky-tack penalties and the Condors weren’t afforded the same luxury.
Despite not walking out with a point, it was game that the Condors can chalk up as a success. They had stayed hot with a big win Thursday night dispatching the Wranglers 5-1 and carried over a strong third period into Friday. They controlled the pace of play all night long outshooting the home side by 39-36.
Dino Kambeitz was at the right place at the right time in the high slot forcing a turnover onto his stick and zipping one home 2:26 into Friday night’s game. The game chugged along with no more goals being seen until the 11:38 mark of the second period, where Sutter shovelled in a loose puck on the powerplay.
You see, the Wranglers have been a thorn in the side of the Condors for two years. Heading into last night, Calgary had won all six meetings between the two sides.
The last two nights, however, showed this young Condors side they can hang with the big boys. The Wranglers are the team to beat in the AHL as one of the strongest clubs in the league as they sit atop the Pacific Division.
Bakersfield? Well, you have to scroll down to seventh to see where they sit. Even still, these last two nights have shown they belong in this division.
They head into the AHL All-Star break with an 18-22-2-1 record, but have gone an impressive 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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