(photo credit: Dinur Blum)
The Bakersfield Condors had the game in their favor with a 2-3 win on Wednesday night when they opened the scoring with C.J. Ludwig getting a one-timer past Reign goaltender Jussi Olkinuora at just 4:19 of the first period. The Ontario Reign quickly bounced back after Geoff Walker forced a turnover in the neutral zone that let Tristan King fire and score at 8:35. Bakersfield held on to the lead again at 11:43 when Ludwig took a deflected shot and slapped it into the net to end the first at 2-1.
The second period was when Ontario started kicking things into gear. They tied up the score after Matt Register‘s shot rebounded off of Condors netminder Frans Tuohimaa, giving Tyler Scofield the chance for a backhander at 2:30. This was his first goal as the newest member of the team.
The scoreless third period was a fight to the finish for both teams but the Condors proved victorious in the end after an overtime play. Bakersfield’s Connor Jones scored the game winner into the open net with an assist from his twin brother, Kellen Jones at 1:04. Olkinuora took the overtime loss with 28 saves while Tuohimaa won with 27.
Thursday night’s feat
Bakersfield was not going to let the Reign get off easy with the man advantage in the second period. Sebastien Sylvestre kept the score going at 8:37 with assists from Jonathan Lessard and Nick Pageau. The Reign’s Maxim Kitsyn came through for Ontario after taking a pass from Nolan Julseth-White and beat Bakersfield goaltender Ty Rimmer at 9:25.
Ontario finally woke up in the third period on the power-play when Scofield passed the puck from the right corner to Kitsyn. Kitsyn shot a one-timer past Rimmer at 11:27, which would be the key to force overtime.
The Reign has a late power-play opportunity during the extra time but failed to take advantage of it. The match led to the Condors taking a 2-0 lead in the shootout and winning for the second night in a row. Olkinuora ended the night with 30 saves and Rimmer with 21.
The Ontario Reign will be looking for a major turnaround against the Utah Grizzlies on Dec. 12.