ONTARIO, CA – Wednesday night, the Reign played a solid, textbook game against the Moose. Friday night they made up for that.
Starting with a 5 minute major penalty against Adrian Kempe for boarding, the Reign were back to the usual parade of penalties. Their vaunted penalty kill managed to keep the Barracuda at bay for 4:52 of the penalty. Unfortunately, they came up 8 seconds short and the Barracuda took the lead. Nine minutes later, a charge up the ice gave Parkes position and his deflection went past Peter Budaj’s shoulder to give the Barracuda a one goal lead. The first period ended with San Jose up 2-0 and outshooting the Reign 11-8.
The Reign recovered their composure in the second period (and got Kempe back), pushing back hard against the Barracuda. San Jose even gifted them with a full 2 minute 5 on 3 power play. A disallowed goal was the only thing they could get past Dell, however, and they closed the period still down by 2.
Ontario kicked it up yet another notch in the third period and were rewarded early on with a goal from captain Vincent LoVerde. Barracuda netminder, Aaron Dell, seemed up to the challenge and kept the Reign down by one until his team took a penalty with 3 minutes left. Budaj took to the bench to give the Reign the two man advantage and Backman was able to tie the game at 18:28.
It only took Nic Dowd 28 seconds and two tries to win the game in overtime for the Reign with help from the Captain.
Impressive: Nic Dowd & Vincent LoVerde have both stepped up their games recently with Sean Backman never far behind.
Not So Much: The Reign’s power play went 1 for 7 including that two man advantage mentioned above and they did not look good doing it. Passes were missed, zone entries flubbed and loose pucks were lost.
Elsewhere in the Division: San Diego extended their winning streak to two games, beating the Texas Stars 3-2. San Antonio laid a 6-1 beating on the Bakersfield Condors. Manitoba continued their California tour with a stop in lovely Stockton where the teams needed a shoot-out to decide the winner. The Heat took the contest 2-1. The Barracuda are still holding onto second place in the division, but the Stars and Gulls have crept back into striking distance.