Ontario Reign at Abbotsford Canucks

In their first game in over a week, the Ontario Reign couldn’t build on an early first-period lead, falling 3-2 to the Abbotsford Canucks.

It didn’t take long for the Ontario Reign to get on the board in this one, but that lead wouldn’t last, and the Reign would drop their third game in the last five 3-2 to the Abbotsford Canucks.

It’s just the third regulation loss of the season for the Reign as they fell to 11-3-0-1 while Abbotsford picked up their fifth win of the season, improving to 5-6-2-1.

Matt Villalta stopped 23 of 26 shots in the loss, while Michael Dipietro made 21 saves in the win.

Game Recap

A little bit of a different look from head coach John Wroblewski as the duo of T.J. Tynan and Martin Frk was split up:

The tweak to the line worked right away as just 63 seconds into the game, the Gabriel Vilardi – Tynan – Adam Johnson trio struck:

A little over six minutes later, the hosts would tie things up as Nic Petan put home a rebound on a shot from Vincent Arseneau:

It was another slow-go in the first period for the Reign as they were outshot 12-4 in the opening 20 minutes.

Ontario had a couple of power-play opportunities early in the second period but didn’t take advantage. Abbotsford’s Phil Di Giuseppe would break the tie at the 12:11 mark of the middle frame with this beauty on a breakaway:

Abbotsford would control the second half of the period and extended their lead with a Sheldon Rempal power-play goal, beating Villalta to the short side.

Alex Turcotte would bring Ontario within one 13:13 into the third period:

Despite a couple of good looks with the goalie pulled, the Reign would not be able to find the equalizer.

Shot Attempts

After the first period, Ontario was the better team:

at Abbotsford Shot Attempts For Shot Attempts Against CORSI CF%
All Strengths 56 44 12 56.0%
All Strengths HD 20 12 8 62.50%
5v5 37 31 6 54.4%
5v5 HD 14 8 6 63.6%

Box Score

The full box score can be found here.

Thoughts and Takeaways

  • Vilardi sure hasn’t had an issue getting reacclimated to the AHL. He was strong again in this one, finding himself in good scoring opportunities throughout the night, including a breakaway early in the third that he was stopped on. He finished with an assist and a team-high five shots on goal.
  • After a strong start to the season, Villalta has struggled in his last few outings. This was the fourth straight game of him allowing three goals or more. On the first goal, he left a rebound right into the slot where only Petan could get it. While the Di Giuseppe goal was an excellent display of skill, the third goal beat Villalta clean to the short side. After giving up ten goals in his first five games, he’s now given up 14 in his last four.
  • The Reign power-play was 0-5. After 13 straight games with a power-play goal, this is the second straight game without one.
  • Cameron Gaunce was injured on the first shift of the game and missed some time but did return to the game.
  • This is now three losses in the last five games – all in regulation. They’ve been able to avoid back-to-back losses so far this season.
  • The two teams will meet again on Wednesday at 7 p.m. PT and can be seen on AHLTV.

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