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The Ontario Reign (17-8-2-1) fell, 2-0, against the Charlotte Checkers (19-11-1-1) in front of a crowd of 7,395 on Sunday at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
The defeat marks the third consecutive loss this week and the first shutout loss since November 14 against the Bakersfield Condors.
“If you’re going to win, you got to score more than zero,” said Coach Mike Stothers. “That’ll continue to be worked on to get ready for Tuesday.”
The Checkers got on the board with forward Zach Boychuk’s goal on the man advantage at 6:10 to give Charlotte an early lead in the first period. Boychuk fired the puck down low past netminder Peter Budajwith help from forwards Erik Karlsson and Sergey Tolchinsky.
The Checkers outshot the Reign, 10-4, through the first 20 minutes.
Leading 1-0 into the middle frame, the Checkers tacked on another goal at 1:02 when Tolchinsky fired a shot past Budaj’s shoulder to make it 2-0 on the power play.
The trend of their first period struggles continued as Ontario could not get shots through effectively in the middle stanza.
The Reign opened up the third period with a nice pass from forward Joel Lowry to forward Derek Army, but to no avail, as netminder Daniel Altshuller would deny the newcomer of his first Reign goal.
Ontario would outshoot Charlotte, 13-5, in the final frame, but could not find the back of the net as time expired.
Altshuller recorded 25 saves for the win, while Budaj stopped 19.
“Practices are good. Practices are necessary, but also rest and recovery and time away from the rink are also good for these guys. We stick together. That’s what good teams do,” said Stothers.