Ontario started last night’s game second in the Pacific Division, below the Tucson Roadrunners by one regulation win . Directly beneath them were the San Jose Barracuda, recently having challenged the Reign for first place (they lost).
Earlier that day, Michael Latta had been called up by the Kings and traded to the Blackhawks. Michael Mersch is out with a knee injury and Alexx Privitera had not arrived from Manchester yet. Thin throughout the line-up, it looked like it could be a rough game for the Reign or at least one that Jack Campbell would need to steal.
The Barracuda gave the Reign a break by taking an early penalty. Ontario was unable to capitalize during the power play, but Sam Herr put one home just four seconds after it had ended. Still not quite in the game and chasing the Reign around, San Jose took another penalty just two minutes later. The Reign were able to take advantage of this chance with Paul LaDue putting them up 2-0. The Reign then proceeded to exchange penalties with the Barracuda, eventually giving John McCarthy enough time in front of the net to pull within one.
The second period was a much more even affair. San Jose outshot the Reign 15-10 and even managed to tie up the game at 8:33 off of a Marcus Sorensen goal. Jonny Brodzinski teamed up with Adrian Kempe five minutes later to regain the lead with another power play goal.
What looked like a close contest between two top teams was broken wide open by the Reign in the third period. Teddy Purcell recaptured the two goal lead at 4:40, spawning a collapse of the Barracuda’s game. Vincent LoVerde posted the fifth goal for the Reign under two minutes later. Just 26 seconds after LoVerde’s goal, Jonny Brodzinski notched his second of the night to put the Reign up 6-2. Mantas Armalis managed to staunch the bleeding for San Jose, but the damage was done. The Reign weren’t done, however, and reached the seven goal mark at 19:12 from Mike Amadio.
Multi-Point Nights: Jonny Brodzinski led the way with two goals. He now leads the team with 12 goals on the season. Sam Herr and Teddy Purcell both had a goal and an assist. T.J. Hensick and Adrian Kempe picked up two assists of their own.
Wicked Power Play: From their first chance of the night the Reign power play looked dangerous. They finished the night 3 for 7 with one goal just four seconds shy of making it 4 for 7.
Elsewhere in the Division: Bakersfield also had a productive third period, scoring four unanswered goals to beat the Heat 6-3. The San Antonio Rampage hosted the Manitoba Moose where they let the Moose tie it twice before taking the game 4-2. The Texas Stars were in Iowa taking on the Wild. Despite two goals from Travis Morin, the Stars were unable to get anything else past Steve Michalek and lost 3-2. The Tucson Roadrunners were across the country in Charlotte to visit the Checkers. Mark Olver scored their only goal in a 3-1 loss.
Pacific Standings: With the win last night and the Roadrunners loss, the Reign are back on top of the Division this morning. Tucson is right behind them in second place. San Jose maintained its hold on third place over the San Diego Gulls. The Stockton Heat have fallen to fifth place with Texas below them in sixth. Bakersfield is clinging fast to seventh place while the Rampage are still at the bottom of the division.
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