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Ontario, CA – Forward Adrian Kempe scored early in the first period, but the Ontario Reign (17-7-6-0) were unable to hold onto the advantage as the Texas Stars (17-13-1-2) rallied back to win 3-1 on Wednesday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena. The loss snapped the Reign’s seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1-0).
The Reign got the strong start it wanted, but it was a solid Stars defensive that kept Ontario at bay early in the first period. Kempe got things going in the opening frame, ripping a one-timer from the right circle on the power play at 7:48. Defenseman Vincent LoVerde registered the assist – his 13th of the season and defenseman Zach Leslie picked up the secondary assist. The goal was Ontario’s first shot on goal while Texas had four. The Stars outshot the Reign, 8-4, to close out the period.
Both teams continued to play a fast-paced game in the middle frame and the Stars evened up the score after forward Brendan Ranford knocked in a rebound past netminder Jack Campbell. Ranford finished the night with two points (1g, 1a).
Stars forward Matej Stransky scored at 2:22 of the final frame, firing a shot over Campbell, thanks to a back-handed pass from forward Gemel Smith. Stransky now leads the Stars with 12 goals on the season. The Reign struggled offensively as they went six minutes into the period without a shot on goal. Ontario had a push midway through the stanza, eventually tacking on shots, but it was for naught as they could not slip anything past Stars goaltender Maxime Lagace and a stout Texas defense. Forward Remi Elie scored an empty-net power-play tally just before time expired at 19:36 to secure the Stars win.
Campbell came away with the loss, making 19 saves on 21 attempts for his fourth loss of the season. On the other end, Lagace earned the win with 21 stops on 22 chances.
The Ontario Reign continue a five-game in eight-day stretch on Friday, January 13 against the San Jose Barracuda at 7:00 p.m. at SAP Center in San Jose, California and return to Citizens Business Bank Arena to host the Bakersfield Condors on Saturday, January 14 on Star Wars Night at 6:00 p.m. Buy Tickets
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