Ontario Faces Stockton In Game 7 On Wednesday
ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and AHL Manchester Monarchs, defeated the Stockton Thunder on Tuesday evening in game 6 of the Pacific Division Semifinals before a crowd of 2,983 fans. With their victory, the Reign tied up the series and forced game 7, which will be played at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Wednesday, April 22.
Ontario came out of the gate strong in a must-win game six. The home team notched three goals in the first period to take an early lead over the Thunder. The first goal came from center Tim Kraus at 8:25. The play unfolded when right wing Bud Holloway streaked down the right wing side of the ice and threw a pass across to right wing Geoff Walker. Walker, who was ready just to the left of the crease, fed the puck across to Kraus, who threw a shot up into the top corner of the goal.
Jon Rheault claimed the next two Reign goals, with his first crossing the red line at 14:42. Rheault stuffed a pass from defenseman Andrew Martens under the pads of Stockton goaltender Parker Van Buskirk to give the Reign a 2-0 lead. With 11 seconds left on the clock in the first period, Rheault chipped the puck over a sprawled Van Buskirk for his second goal of the match. Center Jon Francisco and Andrew Martens picked up the assists, and the Reign took a 3-0 lead into the second period.
The second period was goal-less until right wing Brad Mehalko extended the Reign lead to four goals with his wrister at 17:20. Mehalko punched a rebound from right wing Mike Howe’s bid over Van Buskirk, who was still down on the ice after making the initial save.
Andrew Martens was awarded a penalty shot at 2:45 in the final period of play for tripping, but Van Buskirk made the save and the score remained 4-0 with the Reign in the lead.
The Thunder scored their first goal of the game at 6:10 in the third period when left wing Garet Hunt beat Ontario netminder Jeff Zatkoff with a wraparound. Defenseman Cleve Kinley claimed the assist, and Stockton was finally on the board.
Stockton scored twice in a five minute span to cut the Reign lead to one goal late in the third period. The first Stockton goal came from a one-timer by Cleve Kinley from just inside the blue line, with assists from centers Judd Blackwater and Ryan Huddy. Right wing James Bates notched the third unanswered Thunder goal off assists from Blackwater and Kinley. Stockton pulled Van Buskirk with 53 seconds remaining in regulation in an attempt to force overtime, but was unable to find any last-minute goals. Ontario went on to win the match with a final score of Reign 4, Thunder 3.
To view the box score, click here.
1. ONT – J. Rheault
2. ONT – A. Martens
3. STK – C. Kinley
• Bud Holloway extended his point streak to 6-games (5g, 7a) (4/10/09-4/21/09)
• Geoff Walker is currently on a 2-game assist streak (2a) (4/19/09-4/21/09)
• Jon Francisco is currently on a 2-game point streak (1g, 1a) (4/19/09-4/21/09)
• Andrew Martens is currently on a 2-game point streak (1g, 3a) (4/19/09-4/21/09)
• Brad Mehalko is currently on a 2-game point streak (1g, 1a) (4/19/09-4/21/09)
• The series is tied, 3-3; the clubs will meet for game 7 in Ontario on Wednesday, April 22
2009 Kelly Cup Playoff tickets are now on sale!! Call (909)941-PUCK (7825) to reserve your seats, or click here for more information about playoff tickets.
Boston’s Restaurant will host a Post-Game Playoff Party tonight immediately following the game!! Fans: bring your tickets stub to Boston’s for a 15% discount on all food items. The first 50 fans in attendance will receive a ticket for the Reign’s first home game in round two or Opening Night for the 2009-2010 season! One lucky fan will win a team autographed jersey (must be present to win)! So after the game, head over to Boston’s Post Game Playoff Party and you could win one of more than $1,000 worth of tickets or merchandise. Boston’s is located right around the corner at 4th and Milliken. Boston’s the Gourmet Pizza.
Playoffs are here!! Are you looking for a place to stay for the Ontario Reign playoff games? The Sheraton Ontario Airport Hotel is offering a special Reign rate of $82 (plus tax) per night. Be sure to call the Sheraton sales office to inquire about special group rates of 15 rooms or more. They have shuttle service to and from the airport, Citizens Business Bank Arena, as well as some other destination sites in the area. Call Dolly Fiacco at (909)937-8000 (ex. 660) to book your rooms today! For more information, go to sheraton.com/ontario.
Attention Reign Fans! Team action photos are now available for online purchase at www.ontarioreign.com under the “Multimedia - Photo Gallery” tab. The Ontario Reign team photographer is Lee Calkins.
Click here to see the 2009 Kelly Cup Playoff standings.
Single game tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com, at all TicketMaster locations, or by calling (213) 480-3232.