ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings, fell to the Alaska Aces in the shootout, 3-2, on Wednesday evening before 4,849 fans at Sullivan Arena. The Reign lost a two-point lead when the Aces scored two unanswered goals to tie up the game and force an overtime session. Neither team put the puck in the net during the five-minute, four-on-four session. Eventually, it was Alaska’s two goals in the shootout that gave them the win.
Michael Pelech drew first blood in the match, during a power play only 3:35 into regulation. Right wing Mike Howe fired off a shot that Aces goaltender Scott Reid saved, but the rebound bounced out into the slot, where Pelech picked it up and snapped it over the goal line. Defenseman Michael Egener also registered an assist on the play, which marked the only goal in the opening period.
Ontario center Tim Kraus extended the Reign’s lead to two goals with his one-timer from the left circle at 6:08 in the second period. Forward Greg Hogeboom and left wing James McEwan picked up the assists.
The Aces answered back with their first goal in the match with only 27 seconds remaining on the clock in the second. Just as a Reign power play expired and the teams were back at full strength, left wing Jason Ryznar received a pass from center John Lammers in the neutral zone. Ryznar was out ahead of the Ontario defense and wristed the puck into the bottom corner of the net behind Reign netminder Curtis Darling.
Defenseman Bryan Miller scored the equalizer for the Aces exactly four minutes into the final period. Miller released a shot that bounced off of the right skate of Darling, off of the left post and over the goal line. Right wing Justin Johnson claimed the assist on the game-tying goal that was enough to force an overtime session when neither team scored again for the last 16 minutes of regulation. The overtime session didn’t yield a game-winner for either club, but Alaska’s two goals in the shootout did. The Reign came away from the match with one standings point, but Alaska added a win and two points with a final score of Aces 3, Reign 2 (SO). Three stars: 1. AK - Nick Mazzolini 2. AK – Alexandre Imbeault 3. AK – John Lammers
Shootout results: 1. ONT – Tony Voce – NO GOAL 2. AK - Nick Mazzolini – GOAL 3. ONT - Greg Hogeboom – NO GOAL 4. AK – John Lammers – NO GOAL 5. ONT - Peter Lenes – NO GOAL 6. AK – Alexandre Imbeault – GOAL 7. ONT – Chad Starling – NO GOAL