WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah- The Ontario Reign (26-14-2-2), proud affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, came from behind in the third period to score a 6-4 victory over the Utah Grizzlies (19-21-0-5) before 6,190 Saturday night at Maverik Center. Reign Coach Jason Christie became the fourth winningest coach in ECHL history with his 333rd win behind the bench.
John Armstrong put the Grizzlies up 1-0 at 15:42 before Tristan King beat Andrew Engelage 57 seconds later to tie the game at one goal apiece. Brady Calla and Adrian Van de Mosselaer had assists on the play. Ontario nearly made it to the intermission tied, but Kory Falite scored with 18 seconds left to give Utah a 2-1 lead.
The Grizzlies’ Ryan Turek extended Utah’s lead to 3-1 just 27 seconds into the second stanza, but the Reign fought back. J.D. Watt and Mike Gabinet prevented Utah from clearing the puck and King scored his second of the game as players swarmed the Utah net at 4:04 to cut the Grizzlies lead to 3-2. Utah appeared to be headed to the second break with a lead, but Calla tapped home a feed from Kevin Estrada at 19:20 to knot it up at 3-3.
Mitch Wahl regained the lead for Utah with a power-play goal at 7:34 of the third period before Geoff Irwin reversed the Reign’s fortunes with two goals in 80 seconds. Irwin’s first goal came short-handed as he jumped on a loose puck at neutral ice and went five-hole for his 10th goal of the season to tie the contest at 4-4. His second goal came just after the penalty expired. The puck hopped over the stick of a Grizzlies defender pinching in at the Reign blue line bounced out to center ice. Irwin again pounced on the puck with speed and beat Engelage to give Ontario its first lead of the game at 11:42, 5-4. Estrada earned his second helper of the contest.
Kyle Kraemer scored his 10th goal of the season, a power-play goal, at 18:04 to put the game away for Ontario. King centered a pass from the right corner and Kraemer fired a one-timer then scored on his own rebound.
Carrozzi (10-5-3) won his fifth straight game with 32 saves on 36 shots, while Engelage (14-16-1) took the loss with 26 saves on 32 shots.
Three stars: 1) ONT- Geoff Irwin 2) UTA - Kory Falite 3) ONT- Tristan King