The Ontario Reign picked up their third home win of the season as they held on to defeat the Alaska Aces at Citizens Business Bank Arena Wednesday night, 3-2.
Ontario got on the board first, scoring just 1:56 into the opening period when C.J. Stretch intercepted the Aces’ break out attempt and snapped the puck past goalie Adam Courchaine to capture the early 1-0 lead.
Ontario’s Justin Taylor and Alaska’s Alex Dzielski decided to settle their differences and dropped the gloves during the second period. Both players threw some furious fists before the refs stepped in to break things up Moments later, Alaska tied things up at 1-1 when Bryan Miller hit a trailing Scott Howes in the slot. Howes took the pass and rifled the puck high over goalie Beau Erickson’s.
Just 1:02 into the third, the Aces took the lead when Howes passed the puck to Brian Swanson in the slot, who walked in and beat Erickson glove side. Moments later, the Reign got the equalizer on a fluke bounce when newly acquired defensemen, Jason Fredricks, tried dumping in the puck along the glass. The puck hit a stanchion and headed directly into the open net as Courchaine had already left the crease to play the puck and as a result the game was tied at 2-2.
Ontario battled hard and eventually scored the game-winning goal while shorthanded when Dusty Collins came streaking down the left wing boards and blasted a slap shot low stick side past Courchaine to take a 3-2 lead. Alaska applied a ton of pressure in the final minutes, but Erickson and the Reign turned aside any late attempts, picking up the win in front of the 6,433 faithful fans.
Erickson made 34 saves for his first win of the season, while Courchaine stopped 26 shots in a losing effort.
The Reign will take their show on the road this weekend when they travel to Las Vegas to take on the Wranglers Friday night at the Orleans Arena and Bakersfield to battle the Condors Saturday at the Rabobank Arena.