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Winnipeg, Manitoba – Forward Michael Mersch scored twice to lead the Ontario Reign (2-0-0-0) over the Manitoba Moose (0-2-0-1) 4-1 at MTS Centre Thursday night.
Reign defenseman Jamie McBain opened the scoring late in the first period banking a shot off of Moose forward Joel Armia and past the blocker of goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (L, 21 saves on 25 shots) at 14:01. Forwards Sean Backman and Adrian Kempe added assists.
After serving a penalty, forward Justin Auger made it 2-0 early in the second period when he caught a feed from defenseman Kurtis MacDermid and ripped a shot under the glove of Hellebuyck from the left-wing circle at 5:55.
Mersch picked up the his first of two goals just five minutes into the third period as forward Nic Dowd forced a turnover along the right-wing boards and found him between the faceoff circles for the one-on-one with Hellebuyck.
The Moose spoiled netminder Peter Budaj's shutout bid with 3:58 remaining in the contest as forward Patrice Cormier capitalized on a five-on-three power play.
Mersch sealed the victory with an empty-net goal at 18:04 from forward Andrew Crescenzi and defenseman Jeff Schultz.
For Schultz, the assist marked his 100th in his professional career.
The Reign finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play while the Moose went 1-for-7.
The Ontario Reign wrap up a season-opening three-game road trip on Saturday, October 17 against the Manitoba Moose at 5:00 PT at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.