ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and AHL Manchester Monarchs, were defeated by the Alaska Aces on Friday evening, just 29 seconds into the sudden-death overtime session at Sullivan Arena in front of a crowd of 4,643.
Ontario right wing Jon Rheault had the chance to give the Reign the early lead when he was awarded a penalty shot at 6:45 in the first period, but his bid didn’t make it past Alaska goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureux. Less than six minutes later, Rheault took advantage of an Alaska turnover and fired a top-shelf goal behind Lamoureux. Alaska answered back to tie the score, 1-1, at 16:18, when left wing Scott Burt put the Aces on the board, off assists from right wing Brett Hemingway and center Vladimir Novak. The score was tied at 1 until a second period power play, when right wing Cam Keith snapped a shot past Ontario netminder John Murray at 7:54, making the score 2-1. Defenseman Corbin Schmidt and right wing Colin Hemingway registered the assists.
Alaska extended their lead, 3-1, at 15:04 when left wing Lance Galbraith took a rebound off the post and threw it onto Murray’s shoulder. The puck trickled over, and Colin Hemingway picked up the assist and his second point of the night. One and a half minutes later, defenseman David Walker set up Reign captain Jon Francisco in front of the net, and Francisco threw the puck past Lamoureux. Right wing Brad Mehalko registered the assist, and the score remained 3-2 going into the final period in regulation.
The Reign wasted no time getting to work in the third period, scoring four goals in just over eight minutes, and putting the Reign ahead 6-3. The first was scored on a 5-on-3 power play at 2:14, when defenseman P.J. Atherton beat Lamoureux through the legs, off a set-up from center Tim Kraus, and a secondary assist from defenseman Andrew Martens. Alaska’s Scott Burt was awarded a penalty shot less than thirty seconds later, but his attempt was no good. Right wing Geoff Walker scored the go-ahead goal off a feed from defenseman Dan Knapp during a power play at 4:04. Left wing Chris Curran extended the Reign lead on a breakaway during a 4-on-4, throwing a backhander past Lamoureux. Tim Kraus registered the assist and his second point of the game. At 10:32 on a Reign 5-on-3 power play, P.J. Atherton ripped a shot over the left shoulder of goaltender Lamoureux, and picked up his second goal of the game. Andrew Martens and left wing Todd Jackson registered the assists, and Martens notched his second assist of the night.
Alaska answered back with three goals in three minutes, the first of which was scored by forward Luke Erickson at 11:20 off assists from defenseman Matt Shasby and Colin Hemingway. In just over a minute later, Cam Keith scored his second of the night and brought the Aces within one goal of the Reign, off assists from forward Josh Soares and center Alexandre Imbeault. Brett Hemingway picked up his second point of the night 52 seconds later, when he lifted a backhander through the pads of Murray with assists from defenseman Bryan Miller and Matt Shasby. Hemingway’s goal tied the score and sent the teams into sudden-death overtime. The Aces’ Vladimir Novak ended the game only 29 seconds into the overtime session when he sent a wrist shot whistling into the net on Murray’s glove side, with assists from defenseman Derick Martin and Brett Miller. Novak sealed the win for Alaska, bringing the final score to Aces 7, Reign 6.
• Jon Rheault is currently on a 4-game point streak (3g, 1a) (1/24/09-1/30/09)
• David Walker currently holds a 4-game assist streak (4a) (1/24/09-1/30/09)
• Tim Kraus currently holds a 3-game assist streak (2g, 3a) (1/25/09-1/30/09)
1. AK - C. Keith
2. ONT – P. Atherton
3. AK - C. Hemingway