Ontario: Reign Claw Back to Beat Grizzlies 6-5 in OT
Chris Huxley caps off big comeback with game-winning goal
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – The Ontario Reign (21-7-1-1), defending Pacific Division Champions and proud affiliate of the NHL’s 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, rallied from two goals down twice against the Utah Grizzlies (12-11-2-3) to win 6-5 in overtime before a crowd of 4,572 at Maverik Center Saturday night. CJ Stretch scored a pair of goals including the game-tying marker and Colton Yellow Horn had three assists.
The Grizzlies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Bryan Cameron at 4:52 and Riley Armstrong at 7:28. But special teams got the Reign back into the game. Dan DaSilva netted his second goal of the series with a power-play goal at 11:59 as he won the faceoff in the Utah zone then tipped in Vince LoVerde’s wrist shot from the point. After the power-play unit cut the deficit in half, the penalty-kill unit tied it up on an unassisted, shorthanded goal by Everett Sheen with just 3.5 seconds left in the period. Sheen got his stick on a pass by Armstrong to knock it out to center ice, then chased down the puck and fired a wrist shot over Andrew Engelage’s blocker.
The Grizzlies capitalized on a series of Reign penalties in the second frame to take a 4-2 lead with a pair of power-play goals. Cameron gave the Grizzlies a 3-2 lead at 11:59 and Drew MacKenzie extended the lead to 4-2 at 18:21.
CJ Stretch registered his 17th goal of the season 2:01 into the third period to pull the Reign within one, but Mitch Wahl took advantage of another Ontario penalty to re-establish a two-goal lead for Utah at the 10:00 mark. However, the Reign again erased a two-goal dearth to tie the game 5-5 with markers by Stretch and Derek Couture just 55 seconds apart. Kory Falite had a breakaway after jumping out of the penalty box, but Chris Carrozzi stuck out his left pad to make the save. The Reign made a fast break the other way and Couture finished of the rush by banking a shot off the post and into the net to cut the Utah lead to 4-5. Less than a minute later, Engelage gave up a long rebound off of a shot by Kyle Kraemer and Stretch snapped the puck into a wide-open cage at 13:58. Chris Cloud didn’t have an assist on the play, but it was his big hit that gave Kraemer the space to take the initial shot. Colin Vock had a chance to snatch back the lead for the Grizzlies with a penalty shot after being pushed down on a breakaway by Matt Clune, but Carrozzi came up big again to force overtime.
MacKenzie was called for slashing early in the extra frame and the Reign special teams made Utah pay. Vincent LoVerde and Colton Yellow Horn worked the puck to Chris Huxley at the left faceoff dot where he let loose with a shot that got a piece of Engelage and bounced into the net to give Ontario a 6-5 win.
Carrozzi earned his 11th win of the season with 37 saves on 42 shots while Engelage took the loss with 34 saves on 40 shots.
DaSilva’s goal extended his league-leading active point streak to 10 games and Couture’s power-play goal tied him for the league lead with 8.
1. UTA – Trevor Lewis
2. UTA – Mitch Wahl
3. UTA – Bryan Cameron
Click here to view the box score.
The Reign will play Utah again for game two Saturday, Dec. 29. The Reign will then head to Sin City to face the Wranglers on Jan. 1 and 2. On Friday, Jan. 4 the Reign return to Citizens Business Bank Arena to host the Grizzlies. The puck will drop at 7:00 p.m. on Friday. Click HERE to buy tickets.
Saturday, Jan. 5 is a Jordan Nolan Bobblehead night! The first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive a Jordan Nolan Reign bobblehead compliments of Unleash Solar. The Reign will face off against Western Conference rivals, the Alaska Aces, at 6:00 p.m. and the general admission doors will open at 5:00 p.m. so be sure to arrive early to get this exclusive bobblehead of former Reign forward and 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Jordan Nolan! Click HERE to buy tickets.
On Sunday, Jan. 6 the Aces return to Citizens Business Bank Arena to play the second of two games against the Reign for a 3:00 p.m. start. Stop by Boston's after the game for a Post-Game Player Party. Be sure to bring your ticket stub and receive 15% off your bill (excluding alcohol). Click HERE to buy tickets.