A third-period comeback wasn’t good enough as the Ontario Reign dropped their third straight game Wednesday night.

Goal Breakdown

First period:

TUC: Max Szuber (2), ASST: Nathan Smith (4), Justin Kirkland (7)

ONT: Martin Chromiak (4), ASST: Cole Krygier (3), Steven Santini (3)

Second period:

TUC: Aku Raty (1), ASST: Victor Soderstrom (1), Vladislav Kolyachonok (1)

Third period:

TUC: Justin Kirkland (1), ASST: Dylan Guenther (6)

ONT: Tyler Madden (3), ASST: TJ Tynan (8), Jacob Moverare (3)

ONT: PP Brandt Clarke (3), ASST: Mikhail Maltsev (4)


TUC: OT Vladislav Kolyachonok (2), ASST: Dylan Guenther (7), Nathan Smith (5)



TUC: 4

ONT: 3


TUC: 24

ONT: 23

Power plays: 

TUC: 0/1

ONT: 1/4

Here are the three takeaways from Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime loss:

Welcome back!

For the first time in his professional career, Matthew Villalta entered Toyota Arena from the visitor’s side. Villalta wasn’t tendered a qualifying offer by the LA Kings this past Summer, making him an unrestricted free agent after spending the past six seasons in the organization. On July 1st, Villalta signed a contract with the Arizona Coyotes, leaving the only organization he had known his entire professional career.

With the game’s first stoppage of play, at the 7:35 mark of the opening frame, the Reign did a small welcome-back tribute for Villalta, who spent the previous four seasons on the team. In his return, Villalta made 20 saves on 23 shots and earned the victory on his old stomping ground.

Almost isn’t good enough

After getting swept in their weekend series in Colorado, the Ontario Reign looked to get off to a strong start on home ice. That never materialized as the Reign struggled to make clean zone entries and breakouts. It was probably their worst period of the season, and yet, they were tied after one period thanks to Martin Chromiak’s tally at 16:37.

There was not much energy throughout the game, forcing head coach Marco Sturm to switch up all four lines in the third period as the Reign trailed 3-1. Switching the lines seemed to give the Reign some momentum as Tyler Madden and Brandt Clarke each recorded their third goal of the year to knot things up at three. After Clarke’s goal, the Reign didn’t record another shot on goal the rest of the game and wound up on the losing end in overtime. If the Reign want to snap this mini three-game skid, getting off to a better start will be key.

Inconsistency is NOT a form of consistency

There are always going to be growing pains with an AHL team; it’s just how it is. So far, there have been highs and lows with the Reign through ten games. They started the season losing two in a row, followed by winning five straight, and now losing three straight. It’s consistent, but not in a good way. We saw this throughout the year last season a bunch of times. If the Reign want to play consistent hockey, they’ll need to get back to how they played during the five-game win streak, better starts, puck management, goaltending, and playing together as a unit will need to be better. Can it be done? We’ll see going forward.

UP NEXT: The Ontario Reign return to action Friday night at home for a chance at redemption against the Tucson Roadrunners. The game starts at 7 p.m. PT and can be seen on AHLTV.

Featured image credit: Ian Kelly/Ontario Reign

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