3/15 REIGN FINAL – Reign 3, Firebirds 4 (SO) – Sturm, Chromiak

Although they tied the game late to force overtime, the Ontario Reign (31-20-3-4) fell to the Coachella Valley Firebirds (36-13-5-3) in a shootout Friday night by a final score of 4-3.

In picking up a point in the standings, the Reign got goals from Samuel Fagemo and Martin Chromiak in the second period before captain TJ Tynan evened the game at 3-3 with 1:13 left on the third period clock.


The Firebirds took the lead early on, scoring the only goal of the first period when a Kole Lind wrist shot from the slot found its way by the blocker of goaltender Aaron Dell at 4:32.

Coachella Valley’s 1-0 lead didn’t make it past the first minute of the second period, however, as Fagemo scored his AHL league-leading 36th goal 17 seconds into the frame on a move to his backhand off a rush into the offensive end. Assists on the tying tally went to both Tynan and Kevin Connauton.

The Reign took a 2-1 lead at 6:59 of the middle frame when Chromiak scored a similar tally to Fagemo’s, racing to the net and beating goaltender Chris Driedger with a low backhand shot. Joe Hicketts and Francesco Pinelli helped set up Chromiak’s 13th goal of the season.

Ontario held on to their one-goal advantage until 7:12 of the third when Logan Morrison evened the score back up for the Firebirds at 2-2.

Then Marian Studenic scored five minutes later at 12:45 to regain the lead for Coachella Valley (3-2) with an unassisted goal off a turnover in the Reign end.

Tynan gave Ontario new life when the team pulled Dell in favor of an extra attacker during a last-ditch effort in the final seconds with his eighth goal of the season. His tying tally came off a cross-crease pass by Charles Hudon and also had a second assist from Nikita Pavlychev.

But the Reign were unable to find another goal in the contest. Connauton had a chance to win the game with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation but his open shot from the slot was knocked away. Ontario then only mustered one shot on goal in overtime and went 0-for-3 in the shootout.

Morrison had the lone strike of the skill session for Coachella Valley, while Driedger stopped all three of the Reign’s opportunities to earn the extra point for his team and finished with 22 saves overall in the game.

Dell turned out 25 shots of his own in a losing effort for Ontario. Neither team earned a goal on the power play in the contest, with CV finishing 0-for-2 while the Reign ended at 0-for-4.

Postgame thoughts from Reign head coach Marco Sturm as well as Chromiak are below.

Marco Sturm

Martin Chromiak

Ontario will complete its busiest week of the season with five games in seven days on Saturday when they travel to Bakersfield for a battle with the Condors at 7 p.m. inside Mechanics Bank Arena.

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