ONTARIO, Calif.– The Reign made up for their disappointing effort on New Year’s Eve against Henderson this weekend with an exciting overtime win against Bakersfield, as Quinton Byfield picks a heck of a time to score his first goal of the season.
The game started much better than the Henderson one, as both teams failed to score in the first period, taking a 0-0 tie into the second period, Ontario with the edge in shots, with nine to Bakersfield’s six. Unfortunately, the Condors struck first, as Tim Schaller scored his fourth of the season to open the scoring, and Cooper Marody added to the lead with his ninth, leaving the Reign in a 2-0 deficit to start the third period. Goaltender Garret Sparks stood tall, making 16 of 18 saves in the second period, but Ontario was unable to solve Stuart Skinner until 3:47 of the third period, where Gabriel Vilardi would get the Reign on the board with his sixth of the season, assisted by Martin Frk, who continues to increase his team lead in scoring.
It took a late power play for Ontario to tie the game, as Samuel Fagemo scored his eighth with less than two minutes in regulation, sending the game to overtime with the first power-play goal of the night on the Reign’s fourth attempt.
Discipline was surprisingly good for Ontario, who have been a little too eager to commit ice crimes this season; they only took two minor penalties all game to Bakersfield’s four. The story of the game, though, was Byfield, who scored his first of the season in thrilling fashion, skating through two of the three Bakersfield players like it was nothing before firing the puck home to complete the comeback and give Ontario the 3-2 OT win. Frk added another assist for a two-point night, and Jaret Anderson-Dolan, fresh from a short stint with the Kings, recorded his 11th assist of the season.
After the loss against Henderson to finish 2021, the Reign stood tall in their first game of 2022, taking the win and reminding Bakersfield that this is a team capable of coming from a multi-goal deficit to steal a second point.
— Ontario Reign (@ontarioreign) January 3, 2022
Next weekend, the Reign are back in action as they face the San Diego Gulls on Saturday 8th and current division leaders Stockton on Sunday 9th, both home games for Ontario.
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