The Colorado Eagles (4-4-2) held off a late rally from the Ontario Reign (5-4-0) in the third period on their way to a second straight 5-3 win Saturday night. Colorado was led by forward Oskar Olausson who scored twice in the contest, while Ontario got two goals from Charles Hudon for the second straight day in a losing effort.
Reign captain TJ Tynan assisted on all three of his team’s goals in the contest, while Alex Turcotte scored during the team’s third period rally.
The game was marred by a total of 15 penalties, including 13 minor infractions. Despite the litany of players in the penalty box, only one power play goal was scored during the contest and it came from Hudon during the third period.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net during a penalty-filled first period, which featured three power play chances for each side. But Ontario controlled many of the chances and accumulated a 15-5 shots-on-goal advantage.
The Eagles started the scoring after a lengthy shift in Ontario’s end at 2:30 of the second. A shot from the high slot by Olausson bounced off the ice and by Rittich to make it 1-0 Colorado.
Then the home team was able to add to their lead in the final moments of the second, scoring twice in a span of 1:23 during the last two minutes to take a 3-0 lead into the second intermission. First, Matthew Stienburg picked the top right corner of the net while using a defender as a screen at 18:13 before Olausson got credit for his second strike of the game by potting a loose rebound at the side of the Ontario net.
Hudon got the Reign on the board at 6:53 of the third, scoring his third goal of the weekend series during a 5-on-3 power play opportunity with assists from Tynan and Mikhail Maltsev.
With less than six minutes remaining in the game and goaltender David Rittich at the bench in exchange for an extra attacker, Turcotte netted his second goal of the season on a rebound off a shot by Akil Thomas.
Ontario then made it a one-goal game with 2:10 remaining on a shot by Hudon that beat Colorado netminder Justus Annunnen through a screen in front. Tynan and defender Brandt Clarke picked up helpers on the strike, which was Hudon’s fourth of the weekend series and team-leading seventh of the season.
But the Reign never found the equalizer, surrendering a final tally moments after the goal at 18:11 to Joel Kiviranta on a 2-on-1 rush opportunity.
Ontario continued their lopsided shots-on-goal differential throughout the game, finishing with 40 chances on the Eagles’ net compared to just 23 from Colorado at the other end of the ice.
Annunen was credited with 37 saves in the victory, while Rittich stopped 18 Eagles shots in a losing effort for the Reign. Hudon’s power play tally kept Ontario from going scoreless on the man-advantage, but they only converted on one of their eight chances. The Reign penalty kill discarded all five of Colorado’s opportunities.
Postgame thoughts from head coach Marco Sturm and Turcotte are below.
Ontario returns home this week to kick off a run of five straight games at Toyota Arena when they battle the Tucson Roadrunners on Wednesday at Toyota Arena at 7 p.m.