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AHL Catchup: Henderson Silver Knights Drop Pair of Games to Ontario Reign

This weekend was a rough one for the Henderson Silver Knights as they dropped back-to-back games by a score of 5-2 to the Ontario Reign. Friday’s game was played at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA and saw the Reign jump out to a 2-1 lead in the first period. Pavel Dorofeyev scored his 13th goal of the season at 12:12, but from that point on the Reign dominated play.

The Reign scored the next three goals in a row, two in the second and one in the third, before Henderson scored their second and final goal of the game at 19:01 of the third period. Ben Jones tallied his 13th of the season, a power play goal assisted by Sven Bärtschi and Paul Cotter.

Jiri Patera was between the pipes for this contest, and he allowed five goals on 30 shots. The difference in this game was special teams, as the Reign went 2/5 on the power play while Henderson went just 1/4. There were opportunities for the game to be closer, but Friday wasn’t Henderson’s night.

Saturday evening didn’t go much better, even though the Silver Knights returned home to Orleans Arena. Maxim Marushev scoring 19 seconds into the game, but once again it was all Reign after a Silver Knights goal.

Ontario went on to score four unanswered goals with two in the first and two in the second. Top prospect Quinton Byfield got things started for Ontario with his fourth goal of the season which came on the power play.

That was followed up with goals by Austin Wagner, Nikita Pavlychev (the first of his AHL career), and Tyler Madden. Then much like he did on Friday, Dorofeyev served as a combo breaker by scoring a goal of his own on the power play.

Jordan Spence added a final dagger for good measure at 13:28 of the third, and wrapped up a second 5-2 victory for the Reign over Henderson. Lassi Thompson got the start in goal on Saturday for Henderson and stopped 26 of 30 in the two periods he played. Dylan Ferguson had the cage for the third period, and stopped 11 of the 12 shots faced.

Overall the Reign scored five goals on 42 shots, and the Silver Knights were held to two goals on 31 shots.

Special teams was once again a factor, as the Reign went 2/4 on the power play while Henderson went 1/2. This is something that the team can learn from, whether it be playing more disciplined hockey, or simply doing a better job of cashing in when on the man-advantage.

Following a pair of weekend losses, the Silver Knights sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 35 points in 29 games played and a .603 points percentage. The Reign are five points up with 40 in 28 games played and hold a .714 winning percentage. The Stockton Heat remain comfortably in first with a record of 22-6-3 with 47 points in 31 games and a .758 points percentage.

The Silver Knights will play next on January 21 and January 22 against the Stockton Heat in Stockton, and the following weekend will be home for a pair of games vs. the Colorado Eagles who currently sit in fourth place behind the Silver Knights.