The Ontario Reign held on to defeat the Bakersfield Condors, 4-3, for their fifth home win of the season, Saturday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Midway through the first period and seconds after Bakersfield killed off their first penalty of a two-man advantage; the Reign’s Chaz Johnson made them pay on the power-play as he blasted a one-timer from Shawn Collymore past goalie Bakersfield goalie Josh Tordjiman for the 1-0 lead.
The Condors answered right back with a breakaway goal from Michael Gregen minutes later. Gergen received a pass from Brad Snetsinger and slid the puck past Reign goalie Mike Zacharias’ five-hole to tie things up.
The Reign broke the tie late in the second period when Collymore got his second assist of the evening when he dug the puck out of the corner and hit teammate Alex Bourret for a one-timer to give the Reign a 2-1 lead at 13:35. Ontario kept their foot on the gas pedal, as Kyle Kraemer took advantage of a Bakersfield turnover to punched in the Reign’s third goal of the night at 16:09.
However, with 48 seconds remaining in the middle, Vyacheslav Trukhno pulled the Condors within one when he gathered the puck behind the goal line and fired it off Zacharias’ backside in to the goal.
The Condors came roaring back early in the third and eventually tied the game up short-handed. Bakersfield’s Adam Naglich and Joel Broda came down on a 2-on-1. Naglich passed the puck to Broda back door and Zacharias made a beautiful pad save but Naglich picked up the rebound and buried it, tying the game at 3-3.
Moments later on a 4-on-3 power play, the Reign scored to take back the lead, with the eventual game-winning goal at 8:37. After setting up on the power-play, Bourret took a slap shot on net and Jordan Morrison banged home the rebound to take a 4-3 lead. Immediately after the goal, a scrum broke out in Tordjiman’s crease and everyone got in on the action. Ultimately, Ontario Captain David Walker and Bakersfield’s Guillaume Lefebvre squared off in a thriller that brought the 8,741 fans at the Bank to their feet
The Condors pulled their goalie in the final minute to give their team a 6-on-5 advantage, but the Reign remained solid and held off any attack to win their fifth home game of the season, 4-3.
Zacharias turned aside 29 shots for his first win in a Reign uniform. Tordjiman made 35 saves in the loss.
Ontario will be back on the ice Wednesday as they take on the Stockton Thunder at home. Bakersfield will remain on the road as they head to Idaho to take on the Steelheads Wednesday at Qwest Arena.