(photo: Dinur Blum)
The Ontario Reign bounced back tonight against the Idaho Steelheads. Their loss on Wednesday was enough to push them harder and it showed with their 4-1 final score. Ontario started a new record in the making on Thursday as their three game skid has already been kicked to the curb.
Some things were different compared to Wednesday night’s game. Reign right winger Derek Couture was placed on reserve after yesterday and with that Vincent Arseneau had been reassigned to Ontario from the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs. His 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame brings an obvious toughness that the team can benefit off of with 120 penalty minutes from playing with the CHL’s Denver Cutthroats last season. This kind of size could be the key to stopping the Steelheads from even stepping foot in the Reign’s zone. Idaho is still excelling in puck possession and out shooting in 11 out of 15 games, so Ontario was going to have to keep holding on all throughout the second period into the third to ensure a quick comeback did not happen.
The Reign came in ready to charge during the first period. Ontatio’s Maxim Kitsyn got the puck out of the corner and passed it to Judd Blackwater who then shot the puck within minutes of the first period starting and beat Steelheads goalie Olivier Roy at just 3:15. Another goal came at 9:41 by Blackwater once again. Reign Defenseman Jeff May shot the puck to Blackwater who backhanded it past Roy for a lead of 2-0. Big bad Arseneau suffered a major five minute penalty for elbowing which made the Reign have to start standing their ground. Goalie Joe Cannata and Ontario’s blueline managed to keep the Steelheads out for the rest of the period for a 2-0 lead.
Ontario kept the reigns tight all through the second period. Forward David de Kastrozza managed to pull a goal for Idaho at 10:51 to have the Steelheads only trailing behind by one goal. Steelheads defenseman Matt Case and forward Gaelan Patterson cleared the way for de Kastrozza to be able to make his move. Idaho ended the second with 15 shots on goal and scored one out of it. That was still not enough to spook the Reign into making any drastic moves. They kept their lead all the way through the second and into the third.
Wednesday’s third period during the Reign’s first game against Idaho is when all things fell apart but not this time. They pulled ahead of the game once again at 7:04 after Alex Roach‘s shot was retrieved by left winger Everett Sheen who then passed it to forward Rocco Carzo and scored. Carzo did it again at 8:43 when Blackwater took the rebound from Roy and fed it to Carzo who shot and scored. The Reign’s comeback game ended in regulation with a final score of 4-1. Cannata earned the victory with 34 saves while Roy took the loss with 17.
The Ontario Reign are looking to win their second game in a row against the Steelheads on Saturday.