ONTARIO, Cailf – Using an early rush of offense the Ontario Reign overwhelmed the Utah Grizzlies in game one of their opening playoff series.
That offensive push resulted in an early 3-0 lead set the Grizzlies on their heels and enabled the Reign to coast to the 5-2 win on home ice.
C.J. Stretch and Kyle Kraemer got the offense moving on a nice set of passing as they entered the Utah zone. Stretch took a feed from Kraemer and beat Utah’s Ben Meisner at 4:16.
Rookie Nick Ebert got in on the action when he potted his first pro goal to give Ontario a quick 3-0 lead. Assists were credited to Kraemer and Derek Couture.
Three goals were enough for Meisner who was relieved by Shane Owen.
The Grizzlies tried to claw their way back into the contest with a late goal in the first off the stick of Ryan Howse. Riley Armstrong found Howse in front of the Reign net and he made no mistake on the play for the first Utah goal of the night.
Still feeling a shift in momentum heading into the second frame, the Grizzlies made it a one-goal game when David Eddy found the net and beat the Reign’s caught JF Berube at 2:06 of the second.
It took most of the second period for Ontario to find its legs again and re-establish dominance in the game. With just over five minutes left in the stanza, Kraemer was set up off a pass from Couture and made it 4-2 for the home side.
Kraemer’s goal took the pressure off the Reign and they were able to add another marker in the third again off Kraemer’s stick for the 5-2 final.
The series continues in Ontario where Utah looks to get even before heading back home.
Ontario’s Berube got the win in making 17 saves while Meisner took the loss allowing three goals on only eight shots. In relief, Owen stopped 30 of the Reign’s next 32 shots.
1. ONT – Kyle Kraemer
2. ONT – Derek Couture
3. ONT – Nick Ebert
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