PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs, defeated the Phoenix Roadrunners, 2-1, in front of 3,603 fans at US Airways Center on Saturday evening. Right wing Mike Howe and center Jon Francisco lit the lamp for the Reign and goaltender John Murray blocked 29 of 30 shots he faced in the win.
The Reign opened the scoring just before seven minutes into the game, in the Reign’s first match-up since the Christmas Holiday. Right wing Mike Howe found the net at 6:47 in the first, shooting the puck past Roadrunners goaltender Kyle Jones. Howe registered his first goal of the season and his first professional goal off an assist from right wing Brad Mehalko, to give the Reign a, 1-0, lead over the Roadrunners.
The teams each tallied a goal in the second, with Ontario netting their second goal midway through the stanza. Reign center Jon Francisco picked up his 12th goal of the season off a rebound from left wings Chris Curran and Todd Jackson in front of the net at the 11:13 mark, pushing the Reign’s lead to, 2-0. Phoenix netted their only goal of the night three minutes later on a shorthanded goal by right wing Dan DaSilva at 14:32 in the second, to make the score, 2-1, heading into the third period.
With the score remaining, 2-1, into the final minutes of regulation, the Roadrunners pulled Jones from the net to give Phoenix an extra attacker on the ice. But, the Reign held on to the win, after a called off goal for Phoenix to tie the match in the final seconds of play, to extend their winning streak to six games. The Reign defeated the Roadrunners at US Airways Center with a final score, Reign, 2, Roadrunners, 1.
1. ONT – J. Francisco
2. ONT – M. Howe
3. PHX – D. DaSilva
• The Reign extended their winning streak to six games, improving their first place Pacific Division record to 18-9-1-1
• John Murray extended his win streak to nine games improving his record to 10-3-0-1
• Goaltender Kellen Briggs was activated from the 30-day IR prior to the game