ONTARIO, Calif. - The Ontario Reign (31-15-3-2), proud affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, earned a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Eagles (23-24-2-4) before 8,100 at Citizens Business Bank Arena Saturday night.
The Reign and Steelheads entered the contest headed in different directions; Ontario with eight wins in its last ten games, while Idaho with only three wins over the same span.
Everett Sheen gave the Reign a 1-0 lead at 10:23 of the first period. Passes from Chris Huxley and Kyle Kraemer set Sheen up for his first goal in a Reign sweater. Derek Couture moved into a tie for the ECHL lead in power-play goals with his 11th goal of the season with the man advantage and 22nd goal overall. Couture beat Idaho goaltender Jerry Kuhn with a heavy slap shot from the top of the right circle at 13:21 to put Ontario ahead by two.
Colorado had some quality chances in the second period, but Chris Carrozzi was equal to the task. Carrozzi stopped David Fredriksson’s point-blank power-play bid then turned aside a pair of rapid-fire shots by Jacob Cepis and Chad Nehring.
The Reign extended their lead to 3-0 on Geoff Irwin’s 13th marker of the season at 3:27. Irwin powered around Idaho defenseman Derek Matheson and went top shelf on Kuhn.
For the second night in a row, the Reign went into the third period with a shutout, only to let their opponent get to within a goal, as Lewicki and Derek LeBlanc scored at 12:50 and 18:28, respectively, to cut the Reign lead to 3-2. Huxley was called for holding with less than a minute in regulation and Kuhn went to the bench for the two-man advantage, but Ontario made it across the finish line for the 3-2 win.
Carrozzi (12-6-3) stopped 31 of 33 shots for the win, while Kuhn (16-18-6) took the loss with 37 saves on 40 shots,