LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and AHL Manchester Monarchs, was defeated by the Las Vegas Wranglers, 5-2, Friday evening before a crowd of 4,222 fans at Orleans Arena.
The Wranglers scored first just over three minutes into the match. Center Justin Taylor picked up the rebound from center Hugo Carpentier’s bid and threw the puck past Ontario netminder Jeff Zatkoff. Forward Mick Lawrence also picked up an assist on the play, and Las Vegas took an early 1-0 lead.
The Reign tied the game at 9:39. Right wing Brad Mehalko fired a shot over the shoulder of Wranglers netminder Glenn Fisher with assists from centers Tim Kraus and Jon Francisco. The clubs headed into the second period of play tied with one goal each.
The Wranglers scored three unanswered goals in the second period. The first came at 6:30 from center Chris Ferraro, with assists from defenseman Matt Robinson and center Chris Neiszner. At 13:37, Matt Robinson scored his second point of the match, when he punched the rebound from defenseman Matt Madill’s shot past Zatkoff. Left wing Dan Riedel also notched an assist. Five seconds later, Hugo Carpentier recorded his second point of the night when he snapped the puck over Zatkoff’s shoulder from the top of the slot. Forward Rob Ricci claimed the assist on the play, and Las Vegas extended their lead, 4-1. The second period came to an end, and found the Wranglers with a three-goal lead as the teams headed into the final period of play.
It took 15:27 for a puck to find the back of the net in the third period, and it came from forward Dale Reinhardt’s stick. Right wing Geoff Walker and Brad Mehalko picked up the assists on Reinhardt’s goal, and the Reign cut the Wrangler’s lead, 4-2.
Las Vegas answered back less than three minutes later. Forward Kelly Czuy buried the puck behind Zatkoff with a backhanded shot. Defenseman Jason Dest picked up the assist, and the Wranglers extended their lead to 5-2 late in the third period. Ontario was unable to catch Las Vegas, who went on to win the match with a final score of Wranglers 5, Reign 2.
1. LV – M. Robinson
2. LV – H. Carpentier
3. LV – J. Taylor