San Diego, CA – Forward Justin Auger scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Ontario Reign (5-1) a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Gulls (3-3) in Game 2 of the Pacific Division Finals Saturday evening at Valley View Casino Center. The Reign lead the best-of-seven series 2-0.
The Gulls opened the scoring early in the contest as forward Nick Ritchie slipped a shot past Reign netminder Peter Budaj (W, 26 saves on 27 shots) at 3:22 shortly after the conclusion of a power play. The Reign responded with 17 shots on goaltender Matt Hackett (L, 42 saves on 44 shots) including quality chances from Sean Backman, Kevin Gravel and Michael Mersch, but Hackett provided highlight-reel stops
In the second period, Hackett continued to stand tall as the Reign received three power plays and added nine shots on goal.
The Reign tied the contest 1:39 into the third period on the power play when forward Kris Newbury deflected a Vincent LoVerde shot from the post past Hackett. Forward Mike Amadio added the second assist. In overtime, Reign forward Adrian Kempe won an offensive zone faceoff back to Gravel who quickly fired a shot through traffic and the rebound found Auger for the game-winning marker at 11:55. The Reign finished the contest 1-for-5 on the power play while the Gulls went 0-for-4.
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