LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs took on the Las Vegas Wranglers in the first of a three game stand Thursday evening in Las Vegas. The Reign outscored the Wranglers 4-2, capitalizing on power play opportunities, to take home their second win on the season in front of a crowd of 5,019 at Orleans Arena.
The Reign (2-0-0, 4 points) swarmed the net on the night, starting when D Darren McMillan found the back of the net off assists from D Geoff Walker and C Dusty Collins just after five minutes into the beginning of the game, scoring his first goal of the season giving the Reign a one goal lead. D Geoff Walker put the Reign up by two when he scored his second goal, and second power play goal, on the season when he fired a shot from the top of the left wing circle past Wrangler goaltender Houle at 12:03. D David Walker and D Andrew Martens assisted G. Walker putting the Reign ahead 2-0. Just under two minutes after G. Walker found the net, the Wranglers (3-0-2, 1 point) managed to pass the puck across the crease getting past Reign G Jeff Zatkoff, when C Neizner scored the Wranglers first goal on the night at 13:36. The teams would play out the final minutes of the period ending the first 20 minutes of play with the Reign ahead of the Wranglers 2-1.
The second period was domintated by the Reign as they crashed the net scoring twice. Reign netminder Zatkoff stopped all 9 shots he faced in the period and shut down the Wranglers offense leaving them scoreless in the stanza as they headed into the third. C Jon Francisco and RW Brad Mehalko split the goals for the Reign in the second. Francisco netted his first goal on the year, and the Reign's second power play goal of the night, at the 14:29 mark off assists from C Dusty Collins and D Geoff Walker, their second on the night, and Mehalko lit the lamp three minutes later to take the Reign into the third leading the Wranglers 4-1.
Going into the third the Reign led the match with a significant lead, but the Wranglers countered five minutes into the final period of play when RW Mike Madill scored on a power play opportunity to give the Wranglers their second goal on the night. The teams battled in the last 15 minutes of play with the Wranglers pulling their goalie with minutes left to play for an extra skater. The Wranglers out-shot the Reign 30-24 on the night, but it wasn't enough as the Reign took their second victory on the season, ending the match with a final score 4-2.
G Jeff Zatkoff stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced tonight, solidifying his third place ranking in the league with a 1.50 goals-against-average.
D Geoff Walker's performance tonight gave him the match's first-star of the game honors and his second multi-point game ((1g, 1a - 10/18 @ BAK)(1g, 2a - 10/23 @ LV)) in as many games C Dusty Collins recorded his first multi point game on the season with two points (0g, 2a) on the night D Darren McMillan ended the night with a +2 rating, the highest Reign plus/minus rating in a game thus far With the Reign's win tonight, the club moves into first place in the Pacific Division with 4 points