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LOVELAND, CO. - Colorado forward Alex Newhook netted a pair of goals, while defenseman Justin Barron earned the first two points of his pro career, but it would not be enough as the Eagles fell to the Ontario Reign, 5-4 on Saturday. Eagles forwards Sampo Ranta and Ryan Wagner also lit the lamp in the loss, while goaltender Jonas Johansson suffered the defeat in his Eagles debut, allowing five goals on 25 shots.
Ontario would jump out to an early lead when a 3-on-2 rush set up forward Boko Imama to light the lamp with a shot from between the circles to give Ontario the 1-0 edge just 5:33 into the contest.
Colorado would strike back when the Eagles earned the game’s first power play, allowing Newhook to bury a wrister from the left-wing circle. The goal was Newhook’s fourth in his first eight professional games and tied the game at 1-1 at the 13:05 mark of the first period. Barron would collect an assist on the tally for the first point of his pro career.
The Reign would hop right back on top just 21 second later when forward Adam Johnson lifted a shot from the side of the crease over the shoulder of Johansson to give Ontario a 2-1 advantage.
Still trailing 2-1 as the puck dropped on the second period, the Eagles would storm back to start the middle frame, as forward Ryan Wagner darted down the right-wing boards before cutting to the crease and beating Reign goalie J.F. Berube. The goal tied the game at 2-2, only 3:25 into the period.
Minutes later, Newhook would skate the puck to the slot before snapping a wrist shot that would light the lamp and give Colorado a 3-2 edge at the 6:21 mark of the second stanza.
Ontario would generate an answer when forward Mikey Eyssimont fielded a pass at center ice and streaked between the circles before firing a shot past Johansson to level the score at 3-3 with 10:01 left to play in the period.
The momentum would continue to trend toward the visitors when forward Martin Frk stepped into a one-timer from the left-wing boards that would hit the back of the net and give the Reign a 4-3 lead at the 11:27 mark of the second period.
Ontario would capitalize on the Reign’s first power play of the game when forward Akil Thomas deflected a shot from the blue line past Johansson to extend the advantage to 5-3 with 3:32 left to play in the period.
The Eagles finally put the brakes on the onslaught when forward Sampo Ranta bashed a rebound into the back of the net from the side of the crease on the power play to trim the Reign’s lead to 5-4 with 7:03 still remaining in the third period.
As the game wound its way inside the final 90 seconds, Colorado would pull Johansson in favor of the extra attacker but would fail to generate an equalizer in the 5-4 loss. The Eagles outshot Ontario 36-25 on the evening, including a 20-9 advantage in the third period.
Colorado will return to action when the Eagles travel to take on the Bakersfield Condors on Wednesday, May 5th at 7:00pm MT at Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield, California. Fans can catch every game this season live on “The Home of the Colorado Eagles,” 92.9 The Bear or on AHLTV.