ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs, defeated the Alaska Aces, 3-1, Saturday evening at Citizens Business Bank Arena. The crowd of 8,229 fans was the third largest in club history.
Neither club found the back of the net during the first period of play, despite seven power plays between the teams. After sending a man to the box for a tripping minor, Aces forward Erik Fabian sent the puck top-shelf on Reign netminder Kellen Briggs’ glove side to give Alaska the lead, 1-0. Defenseman Ryan Turek registered the assist on the shorthanded goal at 7:09. The Aces held their 1-0 lead as the clubs headed into the final period of play.
Chad Starling scored his first goal of the season, and the equalizer for the Reign, when he buried a slap shot in the top shelf behind Alaska goaltender Kevin Regan at 5:57 in the third period. Right wing Geoff Walker registered the assist on Starling’s goal, and started a two-game point streak (1g, 1a).
With only 20 seconds to play in regulation, right wing Jon Rheault scored the go-ahead goal for the Reign when he fired the puck past Regan’s stick side. Defenseman P.J. Atherton and left wing Chris Curran registered the assists on the play. Alaska pulled Regan for the extra attacker, but right wing Denny Johnston found the empty net at 19:56 off a feed from left wing Ryan MacGregor. The goal was Johnston’s first of the year. The Reign claimed the victory with a final score of Reign 3, Alaska 1.
• Geoff Walker is currently on a 2-game point streak (1g, 1a) (2/6/09-2/7/09)
1. ONT – D. Johnston
2. ONT – C. Starling
3. ONT – ONT – J. Rheault