ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings, fell to the Idaho Steelheads, 5-2, on Sunday night before 5,688 fans at the Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Defenseman Dan Knapp scored his first goal of the season and put the Reign up 1-0 at 13:47 in the opening period. Knapp received a feed from defenseman Chad Starling and launched a one-timer past Idaho netminder Rejean Beauchemin from just inside the blue line.
At 18:00, center Robert Pearce fired a shot off that was saved by Beauchemin, but when the rebound got loose, the puck went off an Idaho player’s stick and into the net. Pearce got the goal and defenseman David Walker claimed the assist.
Left wing Evan Barlow finally answered back for the Steelheads with only two seconds left on the clock in the second period. Barlow wristed the puck across the ice and through Darling’s five-hole with an assist from defenseman Dustin Friesen.
Forward Mark McCutcheon scored the equalizer for Idaho and marked his third goal of the season at 7:12 in the final period off assists from left wing Adam Huxley and defenseman Steve Olesky. Evan Barlow netted the go-ahead goal for the Steelheads and his second goal of the game at 15:23 when he received a pass from left wing Mark Derlago from behind the net and wristed the puck past Darling low on his glove side.
At 18:25, Mark Derlago intercepted a pass intended for a Reign player in the neutral zone and carried it over the blue line, where he beat Darling with a shot to the lower right corner of the net. Derlago’s goal gave the Steelheads a 4-2 lead. The Reign pulled Darling and sent an extra attacker out to the ice, but Mark McCutcheon found the empty net and extended Idaho’s lead to three goals. Ontario was unable to score before the clock hit zero, and Idaho claimed the win with a final score of Steelheads 5, Reign 2.
Three stars: 1. IDH – Evan Barlow 2. ONT – Dan Knapp 3. IDH – Mark Derlago