Ontario, CA – The Ontario Reign (6-4-4-0) dropped a 5-2 decision to the San Jose Barracuda (7-5-0-2) on Saturday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
It was a night of frustration and missed opportunities for the Reign, who have dropped five of their last eight games.
“They scored on their opportunities; we didn’t have the details,” commented forward Michael Mersch after the game. “It’s frustrating when you don’t do the details in the game and then you don’t get the results so we just got to get back at it tomorrow and work on the first shift and go from there.”
Ontario started the scoring early in the first when forward Sam Herr fired the puck into the net at 1:36 of the first period. San Jose quickly found their momentum and scored at 13:25 on the power play to make it a 1-1 contest. San Jose defenseman Tim Heed tallied the marker, his first of two goals on the night.
“They [San Jose] did what they’re supposed to do. They get a power play and score on them. The game is pretty much summed up in the fact that we took four penalties and they took one,” said Head Coach Mike Stothers.
Barracuda forward Adam Helewka grabbed lead early in the second period when he rebounded the puck past Reign netminder Jack Campbell, seconds after blocking a shot from forward Daniel O’Regan. Helewka (two goal, one assists) finished with three points. At 11:27 of the same frame, O’Regan fired a goal of his own and finished the night with one goal and two assists. On the other end, the closest opportunity came late in the period when forward Adrian Kempe skated through traffic and fired the puck towards a scrambling goaltender Mantas Armalis (22 saves) who somehow mustered the save to keep Ontario at bay.
San Jose continued the onslaught midway through the final period when Heed fired the puck in between the legs of Campbell. The Reign showed hope as they answered back less than a minute later. Forward Andrew Crescenzi deflected a shot by defenseman Vincent LoVerde to put Ontario within two, but the hope was short lived. At 17:46, Helewka buried a swift pass from a sliding Rourke Chartier to make it 5-2. Campbell finished with 23 saves on 28 shots.
Coach Stothers felt the team effort lacked discipline and poor decision making. “There were no details. That’s exactly the message that was sent between the second and third. We harped on details and then we didn’t follow through on any details.”
“When you’re trying to emphasize how important it is to do the little things right, and the inconsistency is there from game to game again you’re going to get the results you’re getting – win one; lose one.”
“We need to grow up and start playing like we think we’re capable of.
The SoCal Series continues tomorrow Sunday, November 27 against the San Diego Gulls at 3:00 p.m. at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Buy Tickets
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