(photo credit: Standout Imagery)
Ontario’s ability to outshoot their opponents was one of their main keys to try to keep their streak going. During Wednesday’s game they managed to keep the Eagles at just 30 total shots on goal while they had 31. That was the sixth time that the Reign had outshot the opposing team this season. Goaltender Joe Cannata‘s recent trip to the AHL’s Utica Comets left fellow teammate Jussi Olkinuora large and in charge. He was forced to start back-to-back and did not disappoint with his performance. He helped bring Ontario to victory and their third straight win on Wednesday with 27 saves. Even after Friday’s loss, Olkinuora is still a complete threat to Colorado.
The first period was definitely a slow one for both teams. Ontario outshot the Eagles 8-7 but just could not catch a break to get an early lead. Both teams woke up during the second period when Eagles’ Darryl Bootland scored with a power-play goal at 1:14. The rebound flew past Olkinuora with assists from forwards Trent Daavettila and Nathan Moon. Ontario outshot Colorado again but Eagles goaltender Clarke Saunders proved to have the upper hand for both periods as he did not allow even one pass through.
At just about five minutes into the third period, Eagles defenseman Curtis Gedig beat Olkinuora with a wrist shot to have Ontario trailing behind 2-0. The assists went to Daavettila and Moon once again. The Reign had a perfect chance for a goal finally at 8:14 when it was thought that Jeff May got past Saunders with a slap shot but the call ended up as no goal. The ruling was that during the play, Saunders was interfered with. The Eagles got their final game winning goal in at 13:39 with a backhanded shot by Brett Kulak to make the final score 3-0. The game ended with Olkinuora taking the loss with 23 saves while Saunders proved victorious with 27.
The Ontario Reign is hoping to turn things around and start a new streak on Saturday during their third game against the Eagles.