When you’re up three goals with 9:28 to play, you hope to leave town with more than one point.
Not only do the Reign not get to leave town after squandering a late 6-3 lead, they lost 7-6 in overtime to the Alaska Aces on Friday night, their second straight in this three-game set. John Murray allowed seven goals on 34 shots, including the game-winner just 29 seconds into overtime. On a team with three goalies, Murray doesn’t seem to be playing his best hockey with Jeff Zatkoff eligible to come off injured reserve soon.
P.J. Atherton scored twice (his 4th and 5th), and Jon Rheault (8th), Jon Francisco (18th), Geoff Walker (13th), Chris Curran (5th) also scored for the Reign.
Atherton’s second goal of the game, at 10:32 of the third, put Ontario up 6-3 – usually enough of a cushion to cruise to the finish. Not sure if that’s what the defense did, or if Murray got lazy on a couple goals, or a little of both; either way it’s a tough loss. The seven goals represent the most the Reign have allowed in a game.
Interestingly enough, two penalty shots (both on hooking calls, no less) were awarded in this game, and neither Rheault nor Alaska’s Scott Burt put away their free chance.
Andrew Martens and Tim Kraus each had two assists, and if you want to look on the bright side some more (not that one really exists in those dark, dark Alaskan winters), the power play broke out of its slump with three goals in five chances. Alaska moves to 4-1 against the Reign for the season, with their sixth of eight regular-season meetings tomorrow night in Anchorage.
Here is the official game report.