ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign hung on to their early lead to beat the Idaho Steelheads 4-3 before a healthy crowd of 8,559 on Wednesday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Just 44 seconds into the game, Gasper Kopitar and Matt White made an aggressive play into the Steelheads end. White fired a shot on Pat Nagel which rebounded right to the stick of Kopitar, who knocked it in to put the Reign up 1-0. Matt Register earned the secondary assist on the goal. White got on the scoresheet again when he intercepted an attempted cross-ice pass between Idaho defensemen. He picked up the puck in the slot and wristed a shot past Nagle at 6:41.
The Steelheads got on the board at 18:32 when Ryan Murphy snuck the puck past Jussi Olkinuora.
In the second period, White lit the lamp again with a long shot that deflected in off an Idaho defenseman at 3:08. Sacha Guimond and Kopitar picked up the helpers. The Reign made the most of their third power play of the night. Cody Sol received a crisp pass from Rocco Carzo and wristed it top shelf past Nagle at 7:52. Maxim Kitsyn continued his hot streak with an assist on the goal. While on the man-advantage, Taylor Vause scored on Olkinuora as the puck went in off the goalie’s pads.
The final frame went scoreless to give Olkinuora his second straight win with 14 saves; Nagle took the loss with 32 saves.
1. ONT – Matt White
2. ONT – Gasper Kopitar
3. IDH – Brock Montgomery