Hugo Carpentier’s goal at 2:09 of overtime completed the Grizzlies’ comeback from a 2-0 deficit, giving the Reign a valuable point in the standings but wasting a golden opportunity for a win on the road.
For the first time since December, the Reign weren’t outshot. Beau Erickson stopped 36 of 39 for the Reign, and Andrew Engelage stopped 37 of 39 for the Grizzlies. The Reign benefited from a second period that saw Utah take 10 penalties, resulting in six power plays and a 20-10 shots advantage.
All Ontario had to show for that second-period opportunity was a 5-on-3 power-play goal by Dusty Collins at 5:32, and an even-strength marker by Shawn Collymore at 11:43. Clearly, Lane Caffaro’s absence was felt. His ability to get shots through to the net could have made a noticeable difference in a close, power-play heavy game like this.
Utah began its comeback just 27 seconds after Collymore’s goal, when a long shot by Marcus Carroll beat a screened Erickson. With 3:57 left in the third period, Matt Clarke tied the game at 2 with his wrist shot from the left faceoff circle.
It stayed tied until Carpentier’s goal, one second after a penalty to Reign defenseman Jason Fredricks expired. Though Fredricks could do little to prevent the goal as he exited the penalty box, the Reign officially finished 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The standings point put a dent in the gap between Ontario and seventh-place Victoria in the Western Conference standings, bringing the Reign eight points back with one game in hand.
The Reign and Grizzlies play again tonight.