ONTARIO, Calif.-- The Ontario Reign (35-16-4-2), proud affiliate of the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, defeated the Utah Grizzlies (25-28-0-5) 8-3 before a crowd of 5,715 at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Vincent LoVerde, Derek Couture and J.F. Berube were recognized with special jerseys as part of the MeiGray Group's Silver Skater and Golden Goalie Program.
The scoring started moments after the puck dropped with the first goal coming at 53 seconds by Utah’s Paul McIlveen. Just 20 seconds later Kyle Kraemer netted his 19th of the season with a quick shot past Jimmy Spratt. Geoff Irwin extended his point streak to seven games with the assist. At the 6:12 mark of the opening frame Everett Sheen skated into the Grizzlies’ end and scored with a backhand shot. Jason Fredricks netted the next goal, set up by J.D. Watt and Steven Tarasuk, bringing the score to 3-1. Ontario’s fourth unanswered tally came from Irwin with a breakaway goal at 10:47. Logan MacMillan got the puck past Berube on a rebound off the post ending the period with the Reign leading 4-2.
Mike Gabinet, who played in his 200th professional game tonight, earned an assist on Bill Bagron’s early second period goal. Pat Bowen scored his fourth of the season with a breakaway chance that slipped between Spratt and the goal post. Ontario was on the attack again with Irwin’s second goal of the night just 20 seconds later bringing the score to 7-2.
Utah switched out Spratt for the third frame and brought in Andrew Engelage for the rest of the game. The Grizzlies’ Mitch Wahl scored the only goal of the period for Utah at 3:58 with Matt Sorteberg and McIlveen picking up the assists. With less than three minutes left in regulation, J.D. Watt earned his second point of the night with a goal assisted by Chris Cloud. Watt scored a goal and an assist in back-to-back games against Utah.
Berube extended his unbeaten streak to seven games with 34 saves on 37 shots and Spratt took the loss saving 12 of 19 shots. In the third period Engelage stopped 8 of 9 shots.
Three Stars: 1) ONT - Geoff Irwin 2) ONT - Kyle Kraemer 3) UTA - Mitch Wahl