Matt Villalta holds down the fort as the Ontario Reign extends their winning streak to seven games with a win over Bakersfield.

The performance may not have been dominant, but the Ontario Reign (8-0-1) was able to hold off a third-period comeback attempt to beat the Bakersfield Condors (4-4-1) 6-3 last night; finishing their road trip with a 4-0 record.

Matt Villalta had to be good in this one for Ontario as the Reign were outshot 40-19.

Game Recap

Here’s how the Reign looked minus T.J. Tynan:

In case there were any questions as to whether or not Martin Frk could still score without Tynan, he answered them just 33 seconds into the game:

Since this goal, though, the period was ugly for the Reign. Bakersfield held a 17-4 edge in shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes. But alas, the visitors found a second one with Helge Grans scoring his first career AHL goal on the team’s fourth shot of the night:

The second period started similarly, with Bakersfield controlling the play. Villalta, who was excellent in the first period, was called on early in the second as well:

The Reign would spend the second period still being outshot, but they poured in the goals. The first of which comes from Aidan Dudas:

Alex Turcotte then chipped in with a goal he batted out of mid-air:

On a 5-on-3 power-play, Jaret Anderson-Dolan found himself open at the bottom of the right circle, and he made no mistake on the Sean Durzi pass:

Early in the third, it took the 33rd shot on goal to beat Villalta as Vincent Desharnais picked up his first AHL goal. A little before the midway point of the third period, the Condors converted on a power-play to cut the lead to 5-2:

Less than two minutes later, Seth Griffith would score again to pull Bakersfield within two, but Frk would put the game away on a breakaway goal as he came out of the box:

Overall, it was a game that the Reign probably shouldn’t have been leading in the first place – at least not by that margin. So it wasn’t too surprising to finally see some of the Condors’ chances fall. It hasn’t been the easiest of road trips. The Reign have been tested but came out ahead in every game.

Shot Attempts

Much like the first game against Bakersfield, it wasn’t a great performance in the shot-attempt department:

at Bakersfield Shot Attempts For Shot Attempts Against CORSI CF%
All Strengths 33 61 -28 35.1%
All Strengths HD 11 15 -4 42.31%
5v5 31 48 -17 39.2%
5v5 HD 9 10 -1 47.4%

Box Score

The entire box score can be found here.

Thoughts and Takeaways

  • No T.J. Tynan? No problem. Six goals without their best player. I cannot imagine the rest of the league is too excited about that.
  • I’d say it’s a problem that there’s been a trend of pretty poor first periods, but they find ways to be ahead despite those, so who knows? At some point, though, the starts have to be better.
  • Vladimir Tkachev was much better tonight. He was a lot more involved than he was in his first AHL game on Wednesday night. The 26 year old Russian ended the night with two assists and a shot on goal.
  • Where would the Reign be without Villata right now? He was again asked to do quite a bit of work in the opening 20 minutes. Despite the three goals in the third period, Villata’s 37 saves were crucial in this one.
  • Frk with another multi-point night with two goals and two assists. In his first game this season without Tynan as his center, no problems finding the net.
  • It’s always great to see a player get his first goal—Grans with a lovely goal from the point. As expected, with the Kale Clague and Austin Strand call-ups, he’s been getting plenty of minutes.
  • Durzi was very good tonight. He ended with two assists.
  • Adam Johnson played the middle tonight between Austin Wagner and Tyler Madden. I did not think that line generated a whole lot tonight.

The Reign return home on Sunday evening for a game against the Colorado Eagles.

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