BOISE, ID – The Ontario Reign (3-0-1-1), back-to-back Pacific Division Champions and proud affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and Winnipeg Jets, saw their third straight extra frame game, but their first extra frame win of the season, against the Idaho Steelheads (2-2-0-1) at CenturyLink Arena on Friday night with the final score of 4-3 in a shootout.
The Reign didn’t waste any time with a goal from the Captain, Derek Couture, just 28 seconds into play. Couture netted his second goal of the season with help from Reign newcomer Danny Dries who fed him a pass in front of the Steelheads cage allowing him to backhand the puck past Pat Nagle. Idaho tied the game 1-1 at 15:55 while on the power play for a Reign roughing penalty dealt to Dan DaSilva. A long pass came from the blue line and found Mitch Wahl in prime position to snap it past Michael Hutchinson.
Ontario took back the lead at 2:51 of the second period with a give and go play between Couture and DaSilva. The two veterans brought the puck deep into the Steelheads zone and DaSilva’s cross ice pass deflected off a Steelheads defenseman toward the net. Dries was at the crease to push the puck past the goal line and was credited with the goal. Couture lit the lamp again giving his team a 3-1 lead wristing a shot top shelf from the left post on a Reign rush. J.T. Barnett and Matt Clune earned the assists on the goal. There was some confusion when the Steelheads scored their second goal of the game and it was ultimately credited to Patrick Cullity after being deflected toward Hutchinson off a Reign skater putting Idaho within one heading into the final frame.
The only goal in the third period came from Anthony Nigro at the 4:50 mark of the third period. The teams were tied at the end of regulation for the third straight game for Ontario.
Overtime went scoreless and opened the doors to a six-round shootout. Brett Beebe gave Ontario the lead as the Reign’s second shooter, and in the next round, William Rappuzzi scored for Idaho to tie it up. Rookie Yasin Cisse ended the game with a beautiful deke on Nagle and won it for the Reign.
Hutchinson earned the win with 38 saves on 41 shots; Nagle earned a point for the Steelheads stopping 31 of 34 shots.
1. IDH – Anthony Nigro
2. ONT – Derek Couture
3. IDH – Mitch Wahl