The Ontario Reign (2-0-0-1), fought a long and hard battle but fell 5-4 in a shootout against the Florida Everblades (3-0-0-0) before 7,448 fans at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Friday night.
The Everblades took the lead at the 9:13 mark of the first period with a power-play goal. Reign goaltender Michael Hutchinson had a mass of players blocking his view and with Jordan Henry’s shot on net, the rebound came loose for John Henrion to send it out for a top shelf wrister from Kyle Bonis.
The excitement started in the second period with a combined six goals between the two clubs. Mike Towns scored the first goal for the Reign off deflected shots from Dan DaSilva and Dylan Wruck. Bonis struck again two more times to complete a Hat Trick. He wouldn’t be the only rookie to score twice in the frame, Dylan Wruck lit the lamp for Ontario at 10:33 and again at 15:37 to tie the game 3-3. Both goals were beautiful shots set up from solid passes by DaSilva. At 18:02 Rocco Carzo gave the Everblades a one-goal lead heading into the third period.
The crowd went wild at Citizens Business Bank Arena when Wruck answered Bonis’ Hat Trick with one of his own at 8:15 of the final frame; this was the rookie’s second professional appearance. The rookie’s goal tied the game 4-4 sending it into extra frames.
The five minute overtime period went scoreless and led to the first shootout of the season. The Reign scored in the first two rounds but were kept out of the net for the next three rounds giving Henrion the game-winning goal with his fourth round tally.
Hutchinson stopped 32 of 36 shots taking his first loss of the season; Jesse Deckert earned the win with 27 saves on 31 shots.