ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs, defeated the Las Vegas Wranglers in overtime, 2-1, before a crowd of 6,657 fans at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
The division rivals share a common passion for the first place ranking in the Pacific Division, so neither team was shy about getting physical right out of the gate. Reign left wing Ryan MacGregor and Wranglers defenseman Steve Makway dropped the gloves as soon as the puck hit the ice. Both players landed some haymakers before the officials broke it up and doled out the fighting majors.
The Reign claimed the first goal of the game at 8:38 in the first period, when right wing Mike Howe launched a slap shot towards the goal, where it was deflected into the net by left wing Chris Curran. The Reign took an early lead, 1-0.
The Wranglers answered back at 14:09 when center Chris Ferraro sent the puck past Ontario netminder Kellen Briggs to tie the game at one. Defenseman Sean Owens registered an assist on the goal. The clubs headed into the second period with one goal each.
Midway through the second period, Chris Curran squared off with Wranglers center Hugo Carpentier in front of the Reign bench. Curran pinned Carpentier to the boards before landing a few uppercuts and taking him down.
After a scoreless second period, the intensity level rose between the clubs when fisticuffs ensued for the third time of the match. Defensemen David Walker and Brandon Straub mixed it up at center ice only 27 seconds into the third period. Straub ultimately took the Ontario defenseman down to the ice, but not before Walker connected with some jabs of his own.
The third period was chock-full of checks, but not goals. The conclusion of the third period found the score still tied at one, and the teams headed into a five-minute, sudden-death overtime session looking for a game winner.
A minute and a half into overtime, left wing Chris Curran found center Tim Kraus with a wraparound feed from behind the net. Kraus buried the puck in the right corner of the goal behind Wranglers goaltender Glenn Fisher. Andrew Martens also registered an assist on the game-winning goal, and Ontario claimed the victory with a final score of Reign 2, Wranglers 1.
1. ONT – K. Briggs
2. ONT – C. Curran
3. LV – G. Fisher
• Andrew Martens is currently on a 2-game assist streak (2a) (2/13/09-2/14/09)