Lias Andersson’s overtime winner completed the comeback for the Ontario Reign as they split their two-game series with Calgary.

Goal Breakdown

First period:

CGY: Ben Jones (9), ASST: Mitch McLain (8), Yan Kuznetsov (8)

Second period:

CGY: Nick DeSimone (5), ASST: Emilio Pettersen (17), Clark Bishop (4)

Third period:

ONT: SH Austin Wagner (9), ASST: TJ Tynan (39)

ONT: PP Lias Andersson (16), ASST: Alan Quine (13)


ONT: Lias Andersson (17), ASST: Jordan Spence (26), TJ Tynan (40)



ONT: 3

CGY: 2


ONT: 30

CGY: 29


ONT: 1/5

CGY: 0/2

Here are the three takeaways from Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime victory

Villalta bounces back

Matthew Villalta has had a rough stretch recently allowing three or more goals in three of his last four games entering last night. With it being the second night of a back-to-back, Villalta was tabbed as the starter by head coach Marco Sturm. Villalta wasn’t busy for the first 20 minutes, but the Reign needed him to keep them in the game as the Wranglers started to find their game in the second period by outshooting the Ontario Reign 13-6.

After 40 minutes, the Reign found themselves down 2-0 against a very good team. The Reign didn’t get many chances in the third period, so Villalta needed to make the saves when needed to keep Ontario in the game. Those saves paid off as the Reign were opportunistic with their chances late in the third period to force overtime and eventually win the game. Villalta stopped 27 of 29 shots on goal he faced. While it wasn’t an eye-popping performance, it was a quiet bounce-back game for the 23-year-old.

Special teams tie it late

The Reign relied on their special teams to come back in this one. Prior to Aidan Dudas’ slashing penalty with 7:21 remaining in the game, the reign had only two shots on goal in the third period up to that point. With the penalty to Dudas winding down, Reign captain TJ Tynan carried the puck out to center ice and found Austin Wagner sneaking behind the Calgary defenseman and beating Dustin Wolf blocker side to cut the Wranglers’ lead 2-1. A harmless two-on-two ended up in a goal and giving the Reign life.

The Reign’s special teams group had another opportunity with 2:22 left, this time on the power play. After Andre Lee drew a tripping penalty on the attack, Marco Sturm opted to use his timeout and would pull Villalta to give the Reign a six-on-four advantage. The move paid off as Ontario capitalized on a failed clearing attempt by Calgary by creating a scramble in front of the Calgary net which ended up in Lias Andersson tucking home the loose puck to tie the game with 2:11 remaining.

To get pucks by a great netminder in Wolf, you have to score the ugly, second, and third-opportunity chance goals. The Reign only had four shots on goal in the third period but struck on their chances at the most important time that allowed them to force overtime.

Lias to the rescue

Lias Andersson tied the game late in the first game of this two-game series and did so again last night in the second game. Andersson forced overtime on his 16th goal of the season and would start the overtime session with TJ Tynan and Jordan Spence. When collecting the puck at his own blue line off a pass from Spence, Andersson turned on the jets and blew by every one of the Wranglers and was able to slide the puck by Wolf’s right pad to complete the comeback for the Reign.

Just a shifty move with great stick handling to end the game and snap the Reign’s three-game losing streak.

UP NEXT: The Ontario Reign are back in action this Saturday as they head to San Diego to take on the Gulls. The game starts at 7 PM PT and can be seen on AHLTV.

Featured image credit: Terence Leung/Calgary Wranglers




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