It was a tale of two teams for the Bakersfield Condors this weekend. On Friday night, they looked nearly unbeatable. On Saturday night? The Condors were sent crashing back down to earth.
The club split a pair of home games to open the season, beating the Stockton Heat (Calgary) before falling to the San Jose Barracuda (San Jose). Two more games await the Condors this week, including their first road game of the season on Wednesday.
The Weekend That Was:
The Condors became the first AHL team since the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2013 to score eight goals in the season’s first game. The Condors got four powerplay goals (four-for-seven) in the victory and a couple of firsts from the yound forwards.
Cameron Hebig scored his first career AHL goal at 10:58 of the first period to open the scoring while Tyler Benson also notched his first career goal in the win.
Patrick Russell continued his impressive AHL run, he finished well last year, by scoring two goals. One of those tallies came shorthanded, and ended up being the game winner just 27 seconds into the middle frame.
Caleb Jones (PPG) came away with a multi point effort in this one and looked extremely dangerous on the man advantage. Mitch Callahan, who had a nightmare 2017-18 season, scored twice in the win and looked like the player he was back in the Detroit organization.
William Lagesson picked up his first career point on an assist in the third period, while Logan Day picked up yet another point in this one. I’m not sure if Day will make it to the NHL, but he’s quietly put up points at the AHL level since turning pro.
Al Montoya made 21 saves in his Condor debut to collect the win.
Saturday was a different story, as the Condors fell behind by three and never really got into a rhythm. Josh Currie did score his first of the season at 5:46 of the second period, but that was all she wrote in a 5-1 loss to San Jose. Hebig picked up the primary assist on the goal, giving him three points through two games. Cooper Marody also registered an assist, his second of the season.
Dylan Wells made 26 saves in the loss, and although he didn’t look great in his season debut at the AHL level, he wasn’t the reason the Condors dropped this one.
The Week Ahead:
Good news for the Condors, they won’t have to wait long to get a shot at the Barracuda. The sides will meet on Wednesday night at SAP Center, when the Barracuda play host to Bakersfield. After that, it’ll be a ride home for one game on the weekend, as the Condors will play host to the Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona) Saturday night.
San Jose has been strong since entering the league, but there has been a lot of turnover on that roster. In fact, according to Condors’ play-by-play man Ryan Holt, Alexander True (28 points a year ago) is the leading point getter among returners to the roster.
Condor fans will also likely get a look at Ethan Bear come the weekend. The young defender was assigned to the Condors prior to Saturday’s contest as Kris Russell was activated from the IR. Bear will be a weapon on the powerplay, and should get a heavy dose of five-on-five action.
We’ll check back in with the Condors next Monday morning!