WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings, was defeated by the Utah Grizzlies, 6-2, on Friday evening before 2,700 fans at The E-Center.
Only 19 seconds after the game’s first puck drop at center ice, left wing James McEwan scored his first point of the season on Ontario’s first shot of the game with assists from defenseman Mike Egener and left wing Todd Jackson. Jackson also claimed his first point of the season with his assist on the play, and the Reign took an early lead over the Grizzlies.
Utah left wing Jadran Beljo scored the equalizer for the Grizzlies with a shot that beat Ontario net minder Curtis Darling to the bottom right corner of the net. Left wing Evan Kotsopoulos and forward Tom May registered the assists on the game-tying goal at 6:31 in the first period.
Right wing Shea Guthrie gave the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead over the Reign at 16:46. Tom May marked his second assist of the night on the play and defenseman Dustin Friesen picked up the secondary assist on the final goal in the opening period.
Tom May scored his first goal and third point of the night 2:31 into the second period. His unassisted goal extended the Grizzlies lead to two goals. Both goaltenders kept the pucks out of the net until 18:29 in the second, when Shea Guthrie lit up the board with his second goal of the game. Only 23 seconds into a power play that resulted from a Chris Curran holding minor, Guthrie redirected left wing Ryan Kinasewich’s shot from the left circle into the net before Darling could slide over to make the save.
Exactly one minute later, Ontario answered back with a power play goal of its own. Defenseman Andrew Martens fired off a shot from the right wing circle that was redirected over the goal line by forward Greg Hogeboom. Defenseman David Walker also claimed an assist on the play, which closed out scoring in the second period, sending the clubs into the third with the Reign trailing the Grizzlies 2-4.
The third period saw two more pucks cross the goal line for the Grizzlies. Tom May scored his fourth point of the night with his assist on right wing Vlady Nikiforov’s goal at 11:46 and Utah goaltender Mitch O’Keefe claimed on assist on left wing AJ Perry’s goal 30 seconds before the clock hit zero. Utah claimed the win with a final score of Grizzlies 6, Reign 2.
Three stars: 1. UTAH – Tom May 2. UTAH – Shea Guthrie 3. UTAH – Evan Kotsopoulos
Notes: • Greg Hogeboom is currently on a two-game goal streak (4g) (12/2/09 - 12/4/09) • David Walker is currently on a two-game assist streak (4a) (12/2/09 - 12/4/09) • Andrew Martens is currently on a two-game assist streak (2a) (12