12/8 REIGN FINAL – Reign 4, Condors 6 – Sturm, Hodgson

The Bakersfield Condors (8-7-0-1) scored three times in the first and added three more goals in the third to defeat the Ontario Reign (13-7-1-1) Friday night at Toyota Arena by a 6-4 score.

Ontario was led by Samuel Fagemo and Akil Thomas, who both posted a goal and an assist in a losing effort, while Brandt Clarke picked up a pair of assists.


Bakersfield got out to a lead at 4:08 of the first period when Cameron Wright scored for the first time to make it 1-0 with a quick shot after entering the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 rush.

Fagemo evened the contest on the power play at 10:40 of the first with his 11th goal in 11 AHL games this season, scoring on a one-timer at the left circle off a feed by Clarke.

But the Condors took the lead back in the final minute of the opening frame and headed into the first intermission ahead 3-1 after scoring two goals in the last 30 seconds of the period. First, Xavier Bourgault cashed in on a power play at 19:37 and moments later Raphael Lavoie flipped a puck to the top right corner of the net to make it a two-goal game.

The Reign were on their game in the second period, battling back to tie the game with two goals of their own while out-shooting Bakersfield 11-6 in the middle frame.

Early on, Charles Hudon got Ontario back within a goal by scoring his ninth of the year on the power play at 1:58. The goal came with assists from Fagemo, who made the cross-ice feed before Hudon let his shot go, as well as Thomas, who rushed the puck into the offensive zone.

Then Thomas made it a 3-3 game at 12:24, scoring the Reign’s first shorthanded goal of the season on a long range wrist shot off an individual rush into the offensive end during a slashing penalty to Andre Lee.

The Condors went back in front at 2:40 of the third, however, when Noel Hoefenmayer scored on a one-timer from the right circle to make it 4-3.

Wright extended Bakersfield’s lead to 5-3 with his second goal of the game at 8:45 of the final frame.

Ontario got back within a goal for the final time with just 1:20 left on the clock when TJ Tynan poked the puck into the net for his fourth tally of the season that came with assists by Clarke and Martin Chromiak.

The Reign had their net empty in the final seconds in an attempt to even the game, but were unsuccessful and allowed a final tally to Drake Caggiula with six seconds remaining.

Former Ontario netminder Jack Campbell earned the win in goal for the Condors by making 20 saves, while David Rittich got the start for Ontario and stopped 21 shots in a losing effort.

The Reign scored twice on the power play for the second consecutive game and ended at 2-for-6 on the man-advantage while holding Bakersfield to a 1-for-7 mark.

Postgame thoughts from head coach Marco Sturm and forward Hayden Hodgson are below.

Marco Sturm
On the penalty kill units logging a lot of minutes
For some reason our sort outs on the PK for a couple periods was not good. Then it kind of got better. Again, there was just a little bit missing today. It doesn’t matter which area, whether on the PK or five-on-five. It was just one of those nights. It was not terrible but it was not good.

On having Hayden Hodgson back in the lineup
He plays hard. He plays with a lot of speed and after missing such a long time, he needs to find his timing and all that kind of stuff. We’ve got to take it day-by-day, but its definitely good to have him back, especially after losing Maltsev. Again, we need everyone to be healthy.

On bouncing back tomorrow, similar to last week in Coachella
We all know that today was not our best, and at the end of the day if you get scored on six times, the chances are pretty slim to win a hockey game. We’ve got to treat it like a 1-0 game again and that’s what we did in Coachella and that’s what we’re going to try to do tomorrow.

Hayden Hodgson

The Reign and Condors finish up their weekend home-and-home series on Saturday night in Bakersfield at Mechanics Bank Arena at 7 p.m.

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