Ontario, CA –Forward Sean Backman scored a goal and an assist as the Ontario Reign (14-6-5-0) prevailed over the Bakersfield Condors (10-10-4-1) 4-3 in overtime in front of a sellout crowd of 9,491 at Citizens Business Bank Arena Monday evening.
With both teams shaking off a lengthy holiday break, the Condors stretched their scoring legs first as defenseman-turned-forward Joey LaLeggia caught a loose puck in his skates and sent in his third goal of the season past the blocker of Jack Campbell (W, 26 saves on 29 shots) at 12:07 of the opening period. The Reign responded with several scoring chances and forward Brett Sutter capitalized on a rebound off the pads of Condors netminder Laurent Brossoit (OTL, 24 saves on 28 shots) with 6.1 seconds remaining in the frame. Forward Jonny Brodzinski and defenseman Zac Leslie added assists.
In the second period, the Condors looked to reclaim the lead with 11 shots towards Campbell, but the veteran netminder provided timely saves to keep the contest 1-1 through 40 minutes of play.
Offensive play opened up in the final frame as the Condors reclaimed the lead 1:03 in as forward Jujhar Khaira buried a one-time feed past a sliding Campbell. The Reign retaliated 1:15 later as forward Adrian Kempe completed a give-and-go with Sean Backman to bury his sixth marker of the season. Exactly three minutes later, Backman gave the Reign their first lead of the contest blasting a shot past Brossoit off the right-wing circle. Composing a late push, the Condors caught a break at 17:20 as forward Scott Allen slipped by the defense along the boards and rifled in a shot over the glove of Campbell to make it 3-3.
Skating in their second consecutive overtime, the Reign capitalized on the only shot of the extra session and forwards Teddy Purcell and T.J. Hensick battled in the offensive zone to setup defenseman Kurtis MacDermid with a clean shot from between the faceoff circles for the game-winning marker at 1:32.
For the first time in Reign history, no penalties or power plays were issued for either team.
The Reign are back on the road tomorrow, Tuesday, December 27 against the San Diego Gulls at 7:00 p.m. at Valley View Casino Center and on Friday, December 30 against the Stockton Heat at 7:30 p.m. at Stockton Arena. Catch all the action LIVE at OntarioReign.com!
Ring in the New Year with the Reign on Saturday, December 31 against the Stockton Heat at 6:00 PT at Citizens Business Bank Arena! Stay after the contest for a postgame indoor fireworks and laser Bowie and Prince tribute! The first 5,000 fans grab Ontario Reign clappers presented by Smart Solar Power. Buy Tickets
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