ONTARIO, CA – San Jose came in to Sunday’s afternoon game still smarting from a 5-0 drubbing by the Gulls. Ontario was coming off of a dominating performance against the Condors.
The Barracuda were ready for a bounce back game, hitting hard & controlling the play. The Reign looked tired.
Despite the noticeable difference in performance, the Reign still managed to keep the Barracuda shots on goal to a minimum while tossing a few at Aaron Dell. A deflection by Trevor Parkes off of a point shot by Mark Cundari just in front of the net slid the puck just inside of the post, putting the Barracuda up 1-0 with 30 seconds left to play in the first.
The score would stay that way for the rest of the game until the Reign pulled Budaj for the extra attacker. Justin Auger, stationed in front of the net as usual, helped put a Sean Backman shot past Aaron Dell, ruining his shut-out and sending the teams to overtime.
After a long delay to fix a pane of glass that had popped out of its slot, the 3 on 3 got under way. Chances were traded and saves were made at both ends. It finally took an impressive drive from Kevin Gravel from behind his own net to end the game. He brought the puck all the way down the ice, around two defenders, before pushing towards Dell’s pads where it trickled slowly through and over the line.
Impressive: Kevin Gravel had a good night, eventually being promoted to the top defensive pairing with Vincent LoVerde. Both defenders seemed to stay on the ice for the entire last 10 minutes of the third and played a big part in keeping enough possession to give the Reign a chance to tie it.
Not So Much: Most of the squad looked tired & uninterested through the game. Towards the end of the game, you could see a few frustrated players, but most seemed content to return to their apartments. We hope that yet another week off doesn’t make it worse.
Elsewhere in the Division: San Diego, Bakersfield and Stockton had the night off. San Antonio and Texas traded goals in a close game that eventually saw the Stars win 3-2. The win pushed the Stars into second in the division and sixth in the Western Conference.