Ontario, Calif. The Florida Everblades never trailed against the Ontario Reign Friday, but needed all of regulation, overtime and five rounds of a shootout to best the Pacific Division-leading Reign 5-4 at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Kyle Bonis got the Blades started 9:13 into the game, picking up his second goal of the season and giving Florida its first power play goal of the season by blasting in a loose puck for a 1-0 lead.
Ontario battled back at the 17:56 mark of the second as forward Mike Towns fought a Dylan Wruck rebound through a pair of shotblockers and in past Everblades netminder Jesse Deckert to knot the game at one.
Bonis had the answer for Florida, however, scoring back-to-back goals over the glove of Reign goalie Michael Hutchinson to post the Blades to a 3-1 edge and complete his first career hat trick.
Wruck pushed back for Ontario, tallying running strikes of his own to force a 3-3 tie with 4:33 left in the middle frame.
Rocco Carzo had the final say in a wild second, stinging a one-timer from John Henrion past Hutchinson and inside the far post to restore a one-goal lead for the Blades at 4-3 heading into the third.
But it was Wruck that would secure another deadlock, notching his own hat trick with a blast over Deckert's glove with 11:45 to go in regulation.
Deckert and Hutchinson assumed control of the game after Wruck's third, though, combining for 13 saves in the third to force overtime.
The Reign held a 4-3 shooting advantage in OT, but could not solve Deckert while the Everblades had multiple odd-man rushes go by the boards in extra time, sending the game to a decisive shootout.
In the five-round shootout, Dan DaSilva and Mario Lamoreux opened with goals for Ontario but Deckert would stop the next three shooters while Brandon MacLean, Jordan Henry and Henrion all scored for Florida, securing the Everblades their third straight win with a 5-4 shootout triumph.
Deckert needed 27 saves to pick up the win in his season debut for the Blades; Hutchinson suffered his first loss of the year despite 32 stops.
The Blades' West Coast swing rolls on Saturday with a first-ever matchup at 10 p.m. with the Bakersfield Condors.