ONTARIO, Calif.- The Ontario Reign (36-16-4-2), proud affiliate of the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, defeated the Utah Grizzlies (25-29-0-5) 5-1 before a crowd of 7,490 at Citizens Business Bank Arena Saturday evening.
Exactly one minute into play the Reign offense stormed down into the Utah end. Geoff Irwin sent a short pass to Chris Cloud who sent it across the ice to Kyle Kraemer who took a shot on the open net for his 20th goal of the season. Vincent LoVerde, who received a pass from Pat Bowen, sent a hard shot toward the Grizzlies’ net, which J.D. Watt redirected past Andrew Engelage giving the Reign a 2-0 lead at the 12:11 mark of the first.
The only tally of the second frame came from Steven Tarasuk with just two seconds left on the Reign power play. He held the puck at the top of the circle and fired a shot through traffic into the Utah net giving Ontario a three-goal lead. The Reign continued to hold the Grizzlies scoreless through the second stanza.
Two more goals came to the Reign in the third period giving them a definitive 5-goal lead for most of the frame. At the 6:10 mark, Cloud took the puck at the blueline and charged to the net past the Utah defense for a shorthanded, breakaway goal. Bill Bagron was the final Reign player to extend his streak with a goal at 9:33. Chris Huxley passed the puck to Sheen who sent it across the Grizzlies’ net to an open Bagron who knocked it in for the fifth tally of the night. Ontario kept Utah scoreless until 17:08 when Ryan Watson sent one through traffic past Chris Carrozzi.
Carrozzi earned the win for Ontario, the team’s seventh straight victory at home, saving 32 of 33 shots, while Engelage took the loss stopping 16 of 21 shots.
Three Stars: 1) ONT - Chris Carrozzi 2) ONT - Chris Cloud 3) ONT- J.D. Watt