ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs, returned to the Citizens Business Bank Arena for the first game in a series of five at home, as they took on the Bakersfield Condors Friday evening. The Reign took home the victory, defeating the Condors 2-1 in a shootout win, before an announced crowd of 4,792.
Friday evening’s game marked the fourth time the Reign, (9-6-1-1, 20 points), have met up with the Condors, (6-8-1-2, 15 points), in the 2008-09 season and the third time the teams have met at Citizens Business Bank Arena. The Condors got on the board first in the match, with forward Matt Pope scoring a goal on a rebound in front of Reign netminder John Murray, putting the Condors up 1-0 at 7:15 in the first period.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Condors for the next 47 minutes of the game, until Reign defenseman David Walker lit the lamp at 14:42 in the third period. Walker fired a one-timer from the slot, past Condors goaltender Ryan Nie, to tie the match at one. Walker registered his fourth goal on the season, with right wing Mike Howe and defenseman Shawn Germain picking up the assists on the play. Neither team was able to pull ahead in the final minutes of the game, ending regulation tied 1-1 as the teams proceeded into sudden-death overtime.
Neither the Reign nor the Condors found the net in the extra stanza, sending the match into a shootout, the Reign’s third thus far this season. Reign defenseman Andrew Martens and right wing Jon Rheault lit the lamp in the shootout for the Reign, and goaltender John Murray blanked all four Bakersfield shooters, to raise the hometown crowd to their feet, as the Reign took home the win with a final score 2-1.
* The Reign’s 41 shots on the night marked a season high shot record for the team, surpassing the club’s prior record of 38
* The Reign out shot the Condors 40 to 22 in regulation, marking the first time this season that the Reign have out shot their opponents
1. ONT – Murray
2. BAK – Nie
3. ONT – D. Walker