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Reign Fend Off Grizzly Attack in 3-2 Shootout Victory

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah- The Ontario Reign (24-14-2-2), proud affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, earned their fifth consecutive win with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Utah Grizzlies (19-20-0-4) before 3,460 Friday night at Maverik Center.  Reign Coach Jason Christie moves into a tie for fourth place in all-time ECHL coaching victories (332) against the team he led to the Western Conference finals in 2008.

Following a scoreless first period, the Reign took a 2-0 lead with goals by Bill Bagron and Kyle Kraemer.  Bagron scored a disputed goal at 3:42 as he batted a floating puck into the net.  Referee Dan Jablonski signaled goal, waived it off, then counted it after consulting with the linesmen.  Kevin Estrada and Steven Tarasuk assisted on the play.  Kyle Kraemer got behind the Grizzlies’ defense and overpowered Utah goaltender Andrew Engelage with a backhand goal to give the Reign a 2-0 lead. 

The Grizzlies clawed their way back.  Ontario surrendered its first power-play goal in seven games as Logan MacMillan cut the Reign lead to 2-1 at 11:10.  Mitch Wahl scored the equalizer 3:29 into the third period to tie the game at 2-2.  Both goalies stood their ground through the remainder of regulation and the overtime frame and the Reign went to their second consecutive shootout.

Wahl beat Jean-Francois Berube in the second round to give Utah the advantage, but Tristan King and Geoff Irwin converted consecutive opportunities to lift the Reign to a 3-2 win.

Berube (7-8-1) earned the win with a season-high 38 saves, while Engelage (14-15-1) took the loss with 37 saves.
Three stars:
1) ONT- Jean-Francois Berube
2) UTA - Ryan Turek
3) ONT- Derek Couture
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