Texas goaltender Mike McKenna made 44 saves on 44 shots after being put in the game in relief of Landon Bow halfway through the second period to earn the Stars a two to one series lead in Ontario. The Reign now face the brink of elimination heading into game four at home this Tuesday night at 7:00 PM PDT.
Ontario jumped out to a two goal lead in the first period with two rookie defensemen netting tallies thanks to Mike Amadio (1-2-3) faceoff wins. Matt Roy (1) netted his first of the postseason 8:30 into the first, followed by Sean Walker’s (1) first, two minutes and 36 seconds later. Remi Elie (1) was able to get one back before the end of the opening frame for Texas beating Cal Petersen with a wrist shot in the high slot.
The second period began with Michael Mersch (1) deflecting an Oscar Fantenberg shot past Bow 11 seconds into a Reign powerplay to put an Ontario two goal lead back on the board, but Texas would race back and knot the score midway through the second, featuring goals from Justin Dowling (1) and Colin Markison (1). Later in the second period, Mike Amadio (1) converted after stealing a puck at center and beating Bow on the blocker side to give the Reign a 4-3 advantage. The goal would mark the end of Landon Bow’s night in net, finishing the game with four goals against on 22 shots in 29 minutes and 19 seconds of playing time.
In the third period, goaltender Mike McKenna made ten saves as Travis Morin (2) tied the game at four, cashing in on a pass from Justin
Dowling. Following regulation the teams traded chances in the first overtime as the Reign outshot the Stars 17 to nine, but eighty minutes was not enough. In the second extra frame, and almost 100 minutes from the start of the game, Michael Mersch entered the Ontario offensive end alone but was stopped by a diving save from McKenna, which then turned the puck to Gavin Bayreuther’s stick. Bayreuther was able to then dispatch a pass to Samuel Laberge (1) who caught it in stride and collected his first career playoff goal to give the Stars a 5-4 victory in double overtime, and a 2-1 series edge.
Date: April 22, 2018
Venue: Citizens Business Bank Arena – Ontario, CA
Round One (Pacific Division Semi-Finals)
Game 1: Ontario 3 @ Texas 4 (OT)
Game 2: Ontario 5 @ Texas 1
Game 3: Texas 5 @ Ontario 4 (OT2)
Game 4: Tuesday, April 24 (7:00 PM PDT) @ Ontario
*Game 5: Monday, April 30 (5:00 PM PDT) @ Texas
Box Score: https://bit.ly/2F7MPWs
1) TEX – Samuel Laberge (1-0-1)
2) ONT – Mike Amadio (1-2-3)
3) ONT – Michael Mersch (1-0-1)
GWG: Samuel Laberge (1-0-1)
W: Mike McKenna (0 GA, 44 SVS)
L: Cal Petersen (5 GA, 39 SVS)
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