ONTARIO, Calif. – Last week, a mistake by the Ontario Reign netminder led to his team crumbling around him while the Condors took advantage. Exactly one week later, the Reign were looking for some redemption against one of their Pacific Division rivals.
Friday night’s game started slow, as all games between the two teams seem to. They are slow to remember they don’t like each other, take penalties or generate quality scoring chances.
Once things got going, however, everything escalated quickly. It was seven minutes into the second period before the first shoving match. At the next stoppage was the first fight. Three minutes later, a rush up ice by Justin Auger and Brett Sutter led to the game’s first goal when Sutter picked up a rebound from Auger’s shot and put it past Laurent Brossoit. Five minutes and another fight later, a deflected shot from Jonny Brodzinski over Brossoit’s pads gave the Reign a 2-0 lead.
The third period is where it all fell apart for the Condors. Two minutes in, Brossoit didn’t get enough of Jonny Brodzinski’s shot and it tumbled into the net. Five minutes after that, Matt Moulson stole the puck and put it past Brossoit to make it 4-0 Reign. Before they finished announcing that goal, Sam Herr made it 5-0. Matt Luff got in on the fun a bare minute later with a shot that had to be reviewed, but made it ultimately became 6-0 Reign.
It would be the end of the scoring, but there were still more borderline hits, shoving matches, shots behind the play and other liberties that culminated into a dog pile of flying fists. As the officials un-stacked the group, everyone on the ice excluding the goalies squared off with an opposing player and more fists flew. The end result was two fighting majors, two 10-minute misconducts, and one high-sticking call.
The Good: Ten different Reign players earned a point with three of those picking up two points. The scoring was distributed across most of the line-up with no player being a liability.
The Bad: The Reign were unable to convert on either of the two power plays, even giving up a short-handed chance.
The Ugly: The Reign played a good enough game that there is nothing to list here for them. For the Bakersfield Condors, Laurent Brossoit gave up six goals on 26 shots before the Reign stopped scoring. Three goals came on three consecutive shots and Brossoit just didn’t look comfortable in net.
The Results: The San Diego Gulls also won last night, so the two teams are still tied in points percentage. The Reign have the advantage in shoot-out losses versus overtime losses, putting them in second place. The Texas Stars lost, opening a small gap between third and fourth place. The San Antonio Rampage beat the Stockton Heat, moving them closer to the Stars and a playoff spot. The Tucson Roadrunners continue to win, keeping a firm hold on first place.