ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, fell to the Idaho Steelheads, 6-4, before a sell-out crowd of 9,592 fans at Citizens Business Bank Arena Saturday night.
The Reign offense wasted no time, as Michael Pelech and Justin Taylor each scored their 10th goals of the season in the opening minutes of the first period. Pelech’s slap shot just 61 seconds into the match gave the Reign a 1-0 lead. At 2:43, Craig Gaudet’s shot rang off the left post and onto the stick of Taylor, who snapped it past Adrien Lemay to make it 2-0. Mark Derlago got Idaho on the board with a goal at 5:09 before Alex Bourret extended his point streak to seven games with a goal at 10:39. Drop passes from Kyle Kraemer and Jordan Morrison fell to Bourret as he made it 3-1 with a rocket from the top of the left circle. Evan Barlow scored at 15:38 to cut the Reign lead to 3-2.
Idaho responded in the second period with a goal by Kael Mouillierat, two by Evan Barlow, and Derlago’s second of the game to put Idaho ahead, 5-3. Jase Weslosky replaced Beau Erickson at 8:24. Rookies Aaron Lewadniuk and C.J. Stretch teamed up on the power play to pull Ontario within one at 12:31. Lewadiuk hit Stretch with a pass through the crease and Stretch pounded it into the net before Lemay could get his left pad out to block it.
The Steelheads re-gained a two-score lead at 7:35 of the third period with a goal by Aki Seitsonen, and Idaho held on to beat Ontario by a final score of 6-4.
Erickson and Weslosky combined for 33 saves in the loss, while Lemay and Kuhn turned aside a combined 18 shots for the win.
Three stars: 1) IDH – Mark Derlago 2) IDH – Evan Barlow 3) ONT – C.J. Stretch