ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs, defeated the Las Vegas Wranglers, 3-1, in front of a sellout crowd of 9,644 fans, Sunday evening at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
The Reign scored the first goal in the match during a power play at 12:16. Right wing Jon Rheault smashed the puck past Las Vegas netminder John DeCaro. Right wing Bud Holloway and center Tim Kraus claimed the assists, and the Reign took a 1-0 lead.
The Wranglers tied up the game in the last 41 seconds of the first period. Defenseman Bret Taylor threw the puck into the top corner of the net behind Ontario goaltender Jeff Zatkoff with assists from defenseman Mike Madill and left wing Shawn Limpright. The clubs headed into the second period tied with one goal each.
Ontario took their second lead of the game early in the second frame. Right wing Geoff Walker slid the puck around a diving DeCaro and into the back of the net. Right wing Jon Rheault notched an assist and his second point of the night, while center Jon Francisco picked up the secondary assist. The Reign took their 2-1 lead into the final period of play.
Jon Rheault scored his second goal and third point of the match at 3:28 in the third period. Rheault grabbed the rebound from his first bid and fired a backhand shot past DeCaro. Jon Francisco claimed his second assist of the night on the goal, while defenseman Colten Teubert registered his first professional point with the secondary assist.
The Wranglers pulled DeCaro for the extra attacker, and Jon Rheault sent the puck into the empty net for what would have been a hat trick for the right wing. However, the goal was waved off, as a melee erupted at center ice and the gloves hit the ice at 19:54. Sixteen minutes in penalties were doled out before play resumed. Ontario won the match with a final score of Reign 3, Wranglers 1. With the win, the Reign clinched a spot in the 2009 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs.
• Geoff Walker extended his point streak to 3 games (1g, 2a) (3/20/09-3/22/09)
• Tim Kraus extended his assist streak to 3 games (3a) (3/20/09-3/22/09)
• Jon Rheault is currently on a 2-game point streak (2g, 2a) (3/21/09-3/22/09)
• Bud Holloway is currently on a 2-game point streak (1g, 1a) (3/21/09-3/22/09) Three stars: 1. ONT – J. Rheault 2. ONT – J. Zatkoff 3. ONT – C. Teubert