Tucson, AZ – Forward Michael Mersch scored two goals in the third period and the Ontario Reign (9-5-5-0) erased a three-goal deficit, but fell to the Tucson Roadrunners (10-5-3-0) 5-4 in overtime at Tucson Arena Friday night.
The Roadrunners raced out to a 3-0 lead after one period of action. Defenseman Zbynek Michalek capitalized on the power play early in the frame for his first goal of the season at 4:45. Forward Connor Garland doubled the lead at 16:16 with a great deflection in front of Reign netminder Jack Campbell (24 saves on 29 shots) and forward Chris Mueller completed the first-period outburst with 51 seconds remaining.
In the second period, the Reign responded with 17 shots on goal and forward Mike Amadio buried his fourth goal of the season with 36 seconds left off a patient play from defenseman Vincent LoVerde and forward Teddy Purcell.
The Reign continued to push in the third period as Mersch caught a pass from forward Sean Backman for a breakaway at 4:23 and completed the rush with a backhanded shot between the legs. Moments later, Mersch grabbed his second goal of the game, deflecting a T.J. Hensick shot on the power play at 13:34.
Roadrunners defenseman Kyle Wood reclaimed the lead for the home squad, blasting in a man-advantage marker at 15:12, but Reign forward Jonny Brodzinski reset the contest 23 seconds later, knocking a rebound under the pads of goaltender Adin Hill (33 saves on 37 shots). Late in the contest, Mersch took an interference penalty to set up another Roadrunners power play. The Reign battled through the end of regulation, but forward Christian Fischer struck with a second left on the advantage and 27 seconds into overtime.
The Reign are 1-2 in overtime against Tucson and 2-5 overall. The Reign finished the game 1-for-5 on the power play while the Roadrunners went 3-for-6.
The Reign return home tomorrow, Saturday, December 10 against the Charlotte Checkers at 6:00 at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Celebrate 8-bit Game Night presented by Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. The first 5,000 fans receive an 8-bit Reign vinyl figure! Buy Tickets
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