Ontario, CA – Forward Michael Mersch buried two goals and defenseman Alex Lintuniemi added two assists as the Ontario Reign (31-18-10-0) defeated the San Antonio Rampage (25-33-5-2), 3-2, at Citizens Business Bank Arena Friday night.
The Reign overpowered the Rampage in the first period, outshooting their Pacific Division rivals 13-4.
Forward Michael Mersch broke the scoreless tied early in the second period, knocking a rebound under Rampage netminder Joe Cannata (L, 33 saves on 36 shots) at 2:27 with help from forward T.J. Hensick and defenseman Vincent LoVerde. Forward Quentin Shore made it 2-0 at 11:47 with his first AHL marker, deflecting in an Alex Lintuniemi bid from the right-wing point. Towards the end of the frame, the Reign ran into penalty trouble, but Mersch made it a three-goal advantage with a shorthanded tally at 16:08. The Rampage retaliated a minute later with a man-advantage maker by Felix Girard.
In the final frame, the Rampage pulled within one off another power-play tally as forward Rocco Grimaldi ripped in his team-leading 27 of the season over Reign goalie Jack Campbell (W, 16 saves on 18 shots) at 10:01. Following the tally, the Reign defense locked up to seal the victory including a seventh San Antonio power play (finished 2-for-7) and a six-on-five attack with Cannata pulled for the extra attacker. The Reign ended the game 0-for-2 on the power play.
The Reign and Rampage rematch tomorrow night, Saturday, March 25 at Citizens Business Bank Arena at 6:00 PT! You’re your tickets at OntarioReign.com!
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