Condors 3, Heat 2

It was a familiar scene on my computer screen on Sunday night as the farm teams of the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames met in the season finale. As was the case in Calgary eight days ago, one team was tuning up for the playoffs, the other preparing for golf season. This time, though, the roles were reversed, with the visiting team in white, blue and orange being the squad in the ascendant.

The road team managed to win this game as well, twice eliminating a one-goal deficit and finally grabbing the lead themselves with six minutes to play and holding the 3-2 scoreline to the buzzer. The Condors needed one point to secure top spot in the Western Conference, wound up getting two to finish the season with a .654 points percentage (42-21-5 in 68 GP), just ahead of Chicago Wolves Central Division-leading .645. This assures the Condors home-ice advantage — or what passes for it in the AHL — through the first three rounds of playoffs.

Alas, one other similarity from the NHL regular season finale was that the visitors lost a key player to injury. Nothing quite so dramatic as Connor McDavid crashing into a goal frame at Warp Nine, but potentially a costly blow all the same when Condors forward Josh Currie went down hard after a mid-ice collision and stayed down. There was no audio at that point of the stream but by eye it was an upper body injury that looked suspiciously like an old-fashioned bell-ringing. For a few seconds the played carried on, swirling right beside the player in distress at one point as the refs stuck to the letter of the law even in a game that meant relatively little. Eventually the Condors recovered possession, the trainer tended to Currie, and the 27-goal-scorer eventually headed slowly down the tunnel, not to be seen again on the night. Hopefully just precautionary, but who knows.

No player grades tonight in a game that Bakersfield coach Jay Woodcroft rested a number of key regulars and gave his depth players a chance to play, but a few takeaways:

Player identification was difficult during the soundless portion of the game with no sound, especially after the early injury scrambled up the lines, so I focused instead on team play. Have to say I was very impressed with the positional play of Woodcroft’s charges: in the o-zone there …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports


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Bakersfield Condors wrap up top spot in AHL West but may have lost a key player to injury

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