Reign Remain Hot On The Road

The Ontario Reign remain hot away from home, winning their last five games on the road, including a two-game sweep against the Utah Grizzlies Friday (4-3) and Saturday (3-2 in overtime) at the Maverik Center.

After a scoreless first period to open up Friday’s game, the Grizzlies got on the board first after Simon Furgusen scored on a 5-on-3 power-play in the second. However, the Reign rallied back and scored three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead into the third.

First, Aaron Lewdniuk picked off a pass in the Utah zone and fired a shot past Grizzlies goalie Jean-Phillipe Lamoureux, to tie the game Less than two minutes later, Jordan Hill fed Luke Beaverson with a pass at the blue line. Beaverson ripped a rocket on net and Chaz Johnson buried the rebound to give the Reign a 2-1 lead. With 2:15 left in the period and already down a man, Brett O’Malley hit teammate Michael Pelech with a long pass and beat Lamoureux for the shorthanded goal to give the Reign a two-goal lead heading into the third.

Seven minutes into third period, Grizzlies forward Tyler Ruegsegger trimmed the lead down to 3-2. Ontario fought back and reclaimed their two-goal lead late in the third. After Pelech won a draw deep in the Utah, Lane Caffaro blasted his shot through traffic and past Lamoureux to make it 4-2 Onatrio.

With just over two minutes left in regulation, Grizzlies coach Kevin Colley pulled his netminder for the extra attacker. The move paid off when Tim Crowder beat Ontario goalie Kellen Briggs to bring his team within one. However, Nick Tuzzolino took a hooking penalty with 1:30 remaining and the Reign controlled the puck the rest of the period to complete the victory.

Briggs turned aside 31 shots in the victory and Lamoureux saved 26 in the loss.

On Saturday night, Lewadniuk once again got the Reign’s first goal when he rang a shot off the post and past Utah goalie Andrew Engelage for the 1-0 lead. The Reign struck again in the second when Dusty Collins accepted a pass from Shawn Collymore and snapped it through traffic and gave the Reign a 2-0 lead.

Utah fought back and tied things up in the third. Matt Clarke broke up Briggs’ shutout midway through the period and Tuzzolino found the back up the net late to send the game into overtime tied 2-2.

In overtime, Jeff Corey received a beautiful pass from David Walker and blasted the game-winner past Engelage to complete the two-game sweep.

Briggs stopped 37 shots for his seventh win of the season. Engelage stopped 21 shots in the loss. Lewadniuk is currently on a three-game goal scoring streak.

After the sweep, Ontario improves to 8-10-0-1, tying them with the Bakersfield Condors for third place in the Pacific Division with 17 points.With the losses, Utah falls to 11-6-3-1 and second in the Mountain Division.

The Reign will return home to Citizens Business Bank Arena to take on the Las Vegas Wranglers Wednesday night. The Grizzlies will be back on the ice Friday night when they take on the Reign in a rematch at Ontario.

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