Ontario Plays Final Regular Season Home Game Saturday
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and AHL Manchester Monarchs, fell to the Bakersfield Condors in overtime, 4-3, Friday evening before a crowd of 7,171 fans at Rabobank Arena.
Bakersfield scored first in the match during a power play that resulted from a Reign hooking minor. With 2:06 gone in the first period, forward Andrew Ianiero sent a feed over to defenseman Donny Grover, who fired off a wrist shot from the right point. Center Bruce Graham redirected the puck past Ontario netminder Jeff Zatkoff and into the net to give the Condors an early 1-0 lead. The clubs headed into the second period with the Reign looking to get on the board.
Defenseman Ryan Mahrle scored the Condors second unanswered goal less than two minutes into the second frame. Mahrle’s initial shot was turned away by Zatkoff, but the defenseman picked up the rebound and launched the puck into the net. Left wing Mark Derlago registered the assist on the goal, and Bakersfield extended their lead, 2-0.
Center Jon Francisco just stepped out of the box after serving two minutes for interference when he received a pass at center ice from right wing Brad Mehalko. Francisco took off towards the Bakersfield net on a breakaway, and sent a backhand past Condors goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji to give the Reign their first goal of the game. Defenseman Shawn Germain also notched an assist on the play. Francisco’s goal closed out the second period and sent the teams into the third with the Condors leading, 2-1.
At 4:44 in the third, Geoff Walker scored the equalizer for the Reign. Walker intercepted a Bakersfield pass in the neutral zone and skated to the right face-off circle. The right wing snapped the puck into the net over Fukufuji’s shoulder, tying the game at 2.
The Reign took their first lead of the game during a power play at 12:56. Right wing Jon Rheault threw the puck onto left wing Todd Jackson’s stick. Jackson fired off a one-timer and buried the puck behind Fukufuji. Defenseman Dan Knapp picked up the secondary assist, and Jackson’s go-ahead goal put the Reign ahead, 3-2.
The Condors, who trail the Reign in the Pacific Division standings, evened the score up just over three minutes later. Defenseman Scotty Balan sent the puck over to Mark Derlago with a feed that passed in front of Zatkoff and through the crease. Derlago, who was positioned at the bottom of the left face-off circle, sent a one-timer into the top-shelf over Zatkoff and made it a 3-3 game. Right wing Mike Wirll registered the secondary assist. A battle ensued for the go-ahead goal, but neither team was unable to score as the third period came to an end, signaling the start of a five minute sudden-death overtime session.
Donny Grover found the back of the net with just over a minute left to play in the overtime session. Bruce Graham and defenseman Jay Langager picked up the assists, and Bakersfield won the game in overtime with a final score of Condors 4, Reign 3.
To view the box score, click here.
1. BAK – D. Grover
2. BAK – M. Derlago
3. BAK – R. Mahrle
2009 Kelly Cup Playoff tickets are now on sale!! Tickets for all playoff rounds start at just $236/seat and range through only $428. Avoid additional facility and service fees by picking up your playoff tickets now. Call (909)941-PUCK (7825) to get a head start and reserve the best seats. Click here for more information about playoff tickets.
The Reign has clinched a spot in the 2009 Kelly Cup Playoff run! The team is extending a special offer to their fans to celebrate! The Hat Trick Offer is only $50, and includes an upper level ticket for three milestone Reign games: the first-ever playoff game in Reign history, Opening Night for the 2009-2010 season, and the 2009 ECHL All-Star Game! To reserve your Hat Trick package, call the Reign front office at (909)941-PUCK (7825).
Playoffs are here!! Are you looking for a place to stay for the Ontario Reign playoff games? The Sheraton Ontario Airport Hotel is offering a special Reign rate of $92 (plus tax) per night. Be sure to call the Sheraton sales office to inquire about special group rates of 15 rooms or more. They have shuttle service to and from the airport, Citizens Business Bank Arena, as well as some other destination sites in the area. Call Dolly Fiacco at (909)937-8000 (ex. 660) to book your rooms today! For more information, go to sheraton.com/ontario.
Attention Reign Fans! Team action photos are now available for online purchase at www.ontarioreign.com under the “Multimedia - Photo Gallery” tab. The Ontario Reign team photographer is Lee Calkins.
Click here to see the 2008-2009 regular season conference standings.
Single game tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com, at all TicketMaster locations, or by calling (213) 480-3232.