Game 3 of the 2022-23 AHL season saw the Ontario Reign skate to their second win, defeating the Henderson Silver Knights 5-3 on Tuesday night. After a dry night offensively in their previous effort, coach Marco Sturn’s squad found their scoring touch, as Tyler Madden and Rasmus Kupari led the way, with each totaling a goal and an assist. Special teams were effective when needed; the powerplay converted once on three occasions and the penalty killers went 4-for-4when shorthanded.
Madden was the best forward for the home team; looking very sharp, as he showed off confidence and skill – including tallying a short-handed marker to open the scoring.
Coming off of a loss on Sunday, Ontario’s bench boss couldn’t be happy when he saw one of his players headed to the penalty box early. With a man down, though, Madden showed off his wicked shot when he sniped Michael Hutchinson shorthanded, giving the Reign an early 1-0 lead. Henderson picked up their game, potting a pair of goals before the first period came to a close when Maxim Marushev and Bryon Froese beat goalie Matthew Villalta, who was making his first start of the season.
Henderson controlled the pace of play for most of the period, putting Ontario on their heels throughout the opening frame.
Despite facing a 2-1 deficit heading into the middle stanza, the Reign turned the tables by scoring two goals. They showed off their powerplay, working the umbrella formation beautifully and setting up a Kupari shot into the upper corner of the net. Then, with just 40 seconds remaining in the period, Kings prospect Akil Thomas wristed a shot past the Henderson netminder to take a lead heading into the third period.
Ontario added an insurance marker early in the final period when Kupari danced his way through the visiting team’s defenders and dropped it to first-year Reign forward Alan Quine, who scored for the first time this year. Henderson didn’t go down without a fight, though, as Froese notched his second of the game by picking up a loose puck in a scramble in front of Villalta’s cage. In the final seconds of regulation, newly signed Nate Thompson collected his first goal of the season on an empty net marker.
With the win, Ontario improved to 2-1 on the season and they head down to San Diego next to face their longtime rival on Friday.
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