ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings, was defeated by the Alaska Aces, 6-3, for the second consecutive game on Thursday evening before 4,846 fans at Sullivan Arena.
It took 12:33 for the first point to go up on the board in the second match between the clubs in as many nights. Left wing Evan Kotsopoulos rifled off a shot towards the net that was redirected through the five-hole and past Ontario netminder Curtis Darling by right wing Justin Johnson, who registered his first goal of the season on the play.
Forward Greg Hogeboom wristed the puck over the goal line and into the top corner of the net past Aces goaltender Scott Reid. Centers Robert Pearce and Tim Kraus picked up the assists on the equalizer at 14:25.
Defenseman T.J. Fast claimed the only goal in the middle frame, extending the Aces lead, 2-1 with his power play goal at 12:25. Left wing Scott Burt and defenseman Nick Tuzzolino registered the assists on play.
Only 30 seconds into the final period in regulation, center Alexandre Imbeault extended the Aces lead, 3-1, with assists from T.J. Fast and defenseman Derick Martin.
Defenseman David Walker answered back for the Reign and brought Ontario within one point of Alaska. Walker marked his third goal of the season and defenseman Shawn Germain and right wing Mike Howe claimed the assists.
The Aces came back with three unanswered goals to close out the third period. The first came from Eric Boguniecki at 5:29 and put the Aces up 4-2. At 11:10, forward John Lammers was left undefended in the left circle. He punched the puck into the open left side of the net before Darling could slide over to make the save.
The final Aces goal of the night and third straight for Alaska came off the stick of Justin Johnson, who registered his second goal of his Aces career less than 31 seconds later. Johnson picked up a rebound from defenseman Ryan Turek’s shot and threw it over Darling and just under the crossbar, making it a 6-2 game.
David Walker scored his second goal of the night at with only 30 seconds remaining in regulation with assists from Robert Pearce and Shawn Germain, who both notched their second points of the night on the play. It was too little, too late for Ontario, who dropped their second straight match to Alaska, with a final score of Aces 6, Reign 3. Three stars: 1. AK – Scott Reid 2. AK – Justin Johnson 3. ONT- David Walker