The Reign met the Allen Americans on their home ice last night for the third game in the series. After an embarrassing blowout in the first game, the Reign completely shut down the Americans in the second game, thanks in large part to stellar goaltending.
Last night was more of a defensive match.
The first period started off evenly matched with the teams trading chances. Cue the Reign penalty parade five minutes into the period, and they would not register another shot on goal. Despite Allen controlling the play for much of the period, the Reign’s defense kept them to eight shots on goal and Cannata kept them from scoring.
The second period saw Allen take a couple of early penalties. The Reign capitalized on the second power play with a goal from Blackwater, assisted by linemates Garry Nunn and Tristan King. Allen answered back with a goal of their own four minutes later from Justin Baker (assist to Ian Schultz and Chad Costello). Things would stay evenly matched until Matt White broke through at 14:17, putting the Reign up 2-1 with help from Bigos and Rutherford. Neither team would dominate the period and they both came out with six shots a piece.
Cue the defense.
The third period saw a good amount of play in the neutral zone as both teams struggled to keep pressure on. Chances were few and mainly one and done. The Reign seemed to take control seven minutes in with a power play goal, but it was waved off due to Matt White interfering with Riley Gill. It would take 17 minutes before the game tipped in the Reign’s favor. Maxim Kitsyn put them up 3-1 with help from Matt White and David Rutherford. Still not out of the game, the Americans pulled Gill in attempt to tie the game. After two failed attempts at the open net, it would be Garry Nunn with a lofted chance from one knee inside his own blueline that would put the game away for good.
The Reign now take a 2-1 series lead and will be back in action Saturday night at the CBBA.
Will the Americans be able to find an answer for a revitalized Joe Cannata & the Reign defense?