BAKERSFIELD, Calif.- The Ontario Reign (22-14-2-2), proud affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, earned a 2-1 overtime victory against the Bakersfield Condors (10-29-3-1) before 6,021 Friday night at Rabobank Arena.
The Reign struck first, as Chris Huxley scored with the man advantage 5:04 into play. Huxley took a pass from C. J. Stretch in the high slot and fired the puck past Bryan Pitton who was completely screened by Derek Couture. Ontario had four power plays in the first period and outshot Bakersfield 14-1.
Aaron Lewadniuk nearly had a breakaway midway through the second period, but Alan Mazur tracked down the former Reign winger and kept him from getting off a quality shot. However, Alex Hudson scored the equalizer at 15:59. Evan Trupp intercepted Mike Montgomery’s pass behind the Reign net and found Hudson in the low slot for the one-timer.
Stretch was assessed an interference penalty with 36 seconds in regulation, but the Reign’s penalty killing unit forced overtime and killed off the rest of the penalty in the extra frame. Ontario killed all six Bakersfield power plays. Stretch was on the receiving end of a cross-checking penalty by Justin Pender at 1:39 and the Reign went to work 4-on-3. Just 42 seconds into the power play, Couture redirected Steven Tarasuk’s shot into the net to give Ontario a 2-1 win. The marker was Couture’s league-leading 10th power-play goal of the season.
Chris Carrozzi (8-5-3) stopped 22 of 23 shots in the win, while Pitton (4-15-2) took the loss with 35 saves on 37 shots. The game is Carrozzi's ninth consecutive game without a regulation loss and sixth consecutive game in which the Ontario netminder allowed two goals or fewer.
Three stars: 1) ONT- Derek Couture 2) BAK- Alex Hudson 3) BAK- Bryan Pitton