ONTARIO, CA – The Ontario Reign (40-17-2-3), back-to-back Pacific Division Champions and proud affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and Winnipeg Jets, earned their fifth straight with a 6-2 victory over the Bakersfield Condors (29-27-2-3) on Friday night. The Reign celebrated the two points before their third straight sellout crowd at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Rocco Carzo extended his point streak to four games at 1:16 of the first period when he deflected a shot from Matt White from the right circle. Reign captain Derek Couture earned the secondary assist with a play behind the Condors net to get the puck to White. At 8:16, Jeremy Yablonski ripped a shot on goal for Chris Crane to collect. Crane couldn’t get past Chet Pickard, but White flew in to slam it home putting the Reign up 2-0.
The Condors scored two straight goals to tie the game in the first. The first goal came at 12:16 from Jordan Knackstedt while the Reign had a man in the box. The second goal came at 13:01 off an Andrew Carroll breakaway. Carroll beat the glove of J.P. Anderson for the tying goal. At 17:08, Gasper Kopitar raced into the Condors end and fired a laser from slot past the glove of Pickard to regain the lead. The helpers went to White and Matt Register. With just 44 seconds left in the first period, Maxim Kitsyn sent a rocket into the Bakersfield cage while on the power play. Jonathan Parker and Olivier Malka had the assists.
Pickard was replaced by Tyler Bunz in the second period which went scoreless.
In the final frame, Kopitar scooped up a loose puck and took a shot on Bunz. The puck rolled off the goalie’s pads right to Couture who wristed it into the back of the net to give Ontario a 5-2 lead at 17:37. Before the final buzzer sounded, Register’s point shot sailed through traffic into the net to solidify a 6-2 win for the Reign.
Anderson earned his second win for the Reign with 24 saves; Pickard took the loss with 10 saves, Bunz had 19 saves through the final two periods.