REIGN FINAL – Reign 4, Condors 3 – Hajt, Thomas

A four-goal outburst in the second period was enough for the Ontario Reign (6-1-0) to skate past the Bakersfield Condors (2-3-1) and win their fifth consecutive game by a score of 4-3 on Saturday night at Toyota Arena. Akil Thomas led the way with two power play tallies that both came with assists by captain TJ Tynan and Jacob Moverare picked up two helpers in the victory.

Goaltender Pheonix Copley got the start in between the pipes and turned aside 23 shots to secure his fourth victory of the season. The Reign continue to hold first place in the Pacific Division with 12 points in the standings.


More from assistant coach Chris Hajt and Akil Thomas below.

Ontario spent most of the first period looking to establish its offense and trailed by a goal after 20 minutes while only recording two shots on net. The lone strike came from Xavier Bourgault, who netted a shorthanded goal at 5:15 of the opening frame to put Bakersfield ahead 1-0.

But the Reign took control of the game in the second, outshooting the Condors 19-7 while earning themselves a three-goal lead. Thomas tied the game at 1-1 with his first goal of the frame, burying a wrister in the slot on the power play. Assists on the play went to Tynan and Jordan Spence.

Less than two minutes later, Thomas put Ontario in front 2-1 with another power play goal, his fourth of the season. After a shot by Lias Anderson missed the net, the puck bounced off the end boards and back over the cage into the slot where Thomas swept it past goaltender Calvin Pickard.

Austin Wagner added on less than a minute after Thomas’ second tally, burying a feed from Nate Thompson for his second goal of the year. Moverare, who sent the puck to Thompson, was credited with the second assist on the play, his first point of the 2022-23 campaign.

Finally, with 3:10 left in the second, Aidan Dudas used a quick wrist shot from the left circle to tack on Ontario’s fourth goal of the period. Moverare had the first helper on the goal, while Samuel Helenius picked up the second assist. The goal was Dudas’ fourth of the season, which ties him for the team lead with Thomas and Samuel Fagemo.

The Condors didn’t go quietly in the third, scoring at 4:26 to make it 4-2 on a shot by Alex Peters. Then in the final minute with Pickard at the bench in favor of an extra attacker, Michael Kesselring made it a one-goal game at 4-3.

Seconds after Kesselring’s goal, Bakersfield got a chance to tie the game when Thomas was called for high-sticking. But the Condors came up short in the final seconds, unable to find an equalizer against Copley and the Reign.

Ontario won the special teams battle in the contest, finishing 2-for-5 on the power play and holding Bakersfield off the board during six man-advantage chances. Pickard suffered the loss for the Condors, making 22 saves as Bakersfield outshot the Reign 27-26 in the game.

The Reign hit the road this week for two games in Colorado against the Eagles, beginning on Thursday night at 6:05 p.m.

Chris Hajt

Akil Thomas

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