A strong first period, paired with a dominant night in net from Matt Villalta led Ontario to a 5-2 win over Colorado.
It started off rocky for the Reign, as Alex Galchenyuk scored to give Colorado the lead just two minutes into the game. Shortly thereafter, Kings prospect Jordan Spence tied it after a blast from the left circle on the man-advantage, starting a flood of goals by Ontario. Just after the halfway mark of the first, defenseman Frederic Allard shot from the point found its way through to give the Reign a 2-1 lead. Seconds later, forward Taylor Ward extended that lead to two goals after converting on a pass from Lias Andersson, who now has a nine-game point scoring streak. Before the period came to a close, Aidan Dudas netted Ontario’s fourth goal by banging home a loose rebound.
Things slowed down in the second period, with Colorado dominating play and outshooting Ontario 12-5. Yet nothing came of it for the Eagles, as Reign goalie Matt Villalta turned aside all 12 Eagle shots.
Colorado finally snuck one past Villalta to get within two, just past the halfway mark of the final frame. Even so, he continued to shine; making multiple big saves to keep Ontario’s lead at two. Dudas supplied the dagger with a goal into the vacant cage as time dwindled down.
While Ontario’s offense was firing on all cylinders in the opening period, they only totaled 11 shots in the second and third period combined. The 23-year-old Villalta, in his 100th career game in the AHL, had a season high 43 saves.
Ontario will now have a few days of rest before a tilt with the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday night.
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