Reign End Skid, Sweep Aces In Alaska

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The Ontario Reign ended their five-game winless streak in style by sweeping the Alaska Aces in a three-game series at Sullivan Arena in Alaska.

In game one on Friday night, the Reign scored in overtime to snap a five-game losing streak and defeat the Alaska Aces 2-1 in overtime.

Reign goalie Kellen Briggs, played outstanding all night stopping 38 shots of the 39 he faced. He kept his team in the game, who were out shot 39-14.

Aces forward Scott Howes put Alaska on the board first midway through the third period. Just 15 seconds later, Michael Pelech scored his first goal of the season and tied the game up 1-1.

Both goalies stayed strong the remainder of the third to send this one into overtime. In the extra period, Reign forward Jeff Corey picked up the puck and took it end-to-end and beat Aces netminder Gerald Coleman and gave his team their first victory in seven games.

Briggs stood on his head making 38 saves in the victory. Coleman made 12 saves in the loss.

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Saturday, the Reign picked up right where they left off the previous night at Sullivan Arena as they defeated the Aces for a second straight night 4-3.

Corey remained hot, scoring a power-play goal just 66 seconds into the contest. On the Reign power-play, Dusty Collins passed the puck to Eric Doyle who ripped a shot on net through traffic. Corey cradled the rebound and fired it past Coleman for the 1-0 lead.

Just a few minutes later, Alaska forward Wes Goldie tied the game up minutes later when he blasted a one-timer from the point to beat Briggs and tie the game up 1-1.

Goldie scored again in the second period to put his team up 2-1. Howes faked a shot and slid a pass to Goldie who buried it blocker side to beat Briggs.

The Reign responded back on the power-play as Ontario’s captain David Walker fired a slap shot on net and the rebound went right to forward Lane Caffaro who put it in the back of the net to tie the game up at 2-2.

While short-handed with less then a minute remaining in the second, Collins fired a strike to a cutting Corey for a breakaway on Coleman. Corey beat Coleman five-hole for his first short-hander of the season and took the Reign lead back 3-2.

In the third, Jon Francisco scored to give Ontario a 4-2 lead. Brett O’Malley found a streaking Francisco cutting behind the Aces defense. Francisco deked to his backhand and went top shelf blocker side on Coleman for his fourth of the season.

Alaska answered right back on the power-play as Goldie fired a shot that redirected off teammates Maxime Tanguay’s skate to bring the Aces within one. The goal was upheld because the officials said Tanguay did not make a distinct kicking motion.

Already on a power-play, the Aces pulled their goalie in the final minute of the third to give them a 6-on-4 man-advantage. The Aces tried desperately to find the equalizer but Briggs remained solid and shut down any late attempts.

Briggs earned his second win in as many nights stopping 31 of 34 shots, while Coleman made 14 saves on 18 shots in the loosing effort.

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In game three of the series, the Reign completed the sweep over the Aces with a 2-1 victory Sunday night.

The Reign opened up the scoring on a power-play just minutes into the second period when Collins banged home a rebound off goalie Adam Courchaine for his first goal of the year and put Ontario ahead, 1-0.

The score remained 1-0 until Walker scored on a two-man advantage for his first of the season, putting his team up 2-0.

Alaska was determined to tie the game up. The Aces pulled their goalie with less then a minute remaining to give their team the man-advantage. Goldie scored with 40 seconds remaining to cut the lead in half, 2-1.

The Aces continued to pressure the Reign but Briggs stood tall and turned away any shots directed his way, securing the 2-1 victory and series sweep.

Briggs continued his dominance, stopping 30 of 31 shots in the win. Courchaine stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced in the loss.

Briggs and Corey really elevated their games for the Reign. Briggs finished the series with three wins and stopped 94 of 99 shots for a 1.67 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage. Corey finished with three goals and an assist, including an overtime winner, a power-play and a short-handed goal.

With the sweep, the Reign improve to 5-6-0-1. With the losses, the Aces fall to 7-4-1.

The Reign will come back home to welcome the Victoria Salmon Kings to Citizens Business Bank Arena Friday night. The Aces will hit the road for a three-week road trip where they will face Utah, Elmira, Trenton and Idaho.

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