WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs defeated the Utah Grizzlies 6-5 in front of 3,760 at the E-Center Saturday evening. Five different Reign players scored in the win and goaltender John Murray stopped 36 of 41 shots in his first win of the season.
The Reign (5-4-0-1, 11 points) suited up against the Grizzlies (6-3-0, 12 points) for the final match between the two teams in a 3-game series in Utah. Three Reign players scored their first goals of the season in the first period, beginning with Reign center Dusty Collins. Collins put the club on the board first in the match at 7:26, as he found the net off of assists from right wing Jon Rheault and defenseman Darren McMillan. Jon Rheault lit the lamp at 13:05 for his first goal of the year with the Reign, on a power play as he put the puck past Grizzlies netminder Mike Mole, putting the Reign up 2-0. Centers Jon Francisco and Dusty Collins registered the assists. With five minutes remaining in the period, left wing Ryan MacGregor scored his first goal of the year, assisted by Jon Rheault and Darren McMillan, who both notched their second assists on the night. Utah found their way on to the boards with two minutes remaining in the period, sending the teams into the second wi th a game score, 3-1.
Ontario came out first in the second period with Jon Francisco posting his fifth goal on the season just one minute and 30 seconds into the stanza, pushing the Reign ahead of the Grizzlies 4-1. Right wing Maxime Boisclair tallied his first point of the season on the assist, along with left wing Todd Jackson marking his second assist this year. Utah’s Reagan Leslie and Mike Walsh scored two goals for the Grizzlies in the second as the teams ended the period with the Reign leading 4-3.
The final period of the game found Reign right wing Brad Mehalko and center Dusty Collins lighting the lamp with Mehalko scoring a power play goal just 55 seconds into the third period. Tim Kraus assisted on the goal, extending his point streak to three games (2g, 1a= 3 points), and Jon Rheault marked his third assist on the evening. Collins found the net just over one minute later, posting his second goal on the night with defenseman Andrew Martens registering the assist. The Grizzlies collected two additional goals in the third, but the Reign held off the attack to take the win with a final score, 6-5.