ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings, defeated the Bakersfield Condors, 6-4, on Sunday evening at Citizens Business Bank Arena before 5,099 fans.
Center Mathieu Aubin put the Condors on the board early in the opening period with an unassisted slap shot from just above the right circle. The puck crossed the goal line on Reign goaltender Curtis Darling’s glove side and the Condors took a 1-0 lead.
Adam Naglich added another tally to the Bakersfield column with a shot to the top shelf over Darling. Defensemen Sasha Pokulok and Evan Stoflet picked up the assists on the shorthanded goal at 5:39.
Reign defenseman Mike Egener answered back for his club 29 seconds later off assists from center Robert Pearce and right wing Mike Howe. Egener’s power play goal made it 2-1 Condors.
Andrew Ianiero reclaimed the Condors’ two-point lead at 14:13 with a shot that went straight past Darling’s stick into the lower right corner of the net. Forward Matt Pope and Evan Stoflet notched the assists on the last goal in the opening period.
The Reign claimed the first three goals in the middle frame, with forward Greg Hogeboom claiming the first at 7:28 during an Ontario man advantage. Hogeboom’s slap shot went glove side on Bakersfield netminder Tyler Sims, and defenseman David Walker and Robert Pearce registered the assists. Center Tim Kraus notched the second with a shorthanded goal that tied the game at three when he fired a shot at Sims that just barely slid over the goal line. After the goal, Bakersfield pulled Sims and sent Timo Pielmeier out to the crease to finish out the game.
Right wing Tony Voce scored the equalizer for the Reign at 13:29. Voce picked up a pass in the slot from forward Michael Pelech and deflected it over Pielmeier into the back of the net.
Nick Kemp countered back with another goal for the Condors at 17:35 that made it a 4-4 game, and the score remained tied until late in the final period when right wing Sean O’Connor shoved the puck between Pielmeier’s skate and the post. Robert Pearce and defenseman Chad Starling claimed the assists on the Reign’s go-ahead goal, marking Pearce’s third of the night.
Bakersfield pulled Pielmeier for the extra attacker, but center Jon Francisco found the empty net for the second consecutive night and added another goal to the board for Ontario, who took the win with a final score of Reign 6, Condors 4.
Three stars: 1. ONT – Tim Kraus 2. ONT – Michael Egener 3. ONT – Robert Pearce