Ontario, CA – Forwards Mike Amadio and Sean Backman each had a two-point performance, but it was not enough as the Ontario Reign (23-9-8-0) lost in overtime, 4-3, to the San Diego Gulls (22-12-2-2) in front of a sellout crowd of 9,491 on Friday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
The Reign had a 3-2 lead after forward Justin Auger scored at 9:11 of the final period, but lost it with less than two minutes remaining in regulation when forward Kevin Roy buried a goal past netminder Jack Campbell. The game would eventually head into overtime with Ontario on a 4-on-3 advantage after Backman drew a tripping call on defenseman Jaycob Megna.
Forward TJ Hensick broke open the first period scoring with his 11th goal of the season at 46 seconds. Backman and forward Adrian Kempe picked up the assists. The Gulls tied it up at 6:25 after a Reign turnover in the neutral zone created an opportunity. Former Reign player Jordan Samuels-Thomas launched the puck past Campbell’s pad to keep the game at an even keel.
In the middle frame, forward Brett Sutter sent a nifty behind-the-net pass to an open Amadio and beat netminder Jhonas Enroth glove side at 1:46 to reclaim the Reign lead. Forward Jonny Brodzinski registered the secondary assist. Ontario had a solid second period, on both sides of the ice and held San Diego to just three shots on goal.
The Gulls fought back in the third period and evened the score when forward Nic Kerdiles buried a rebound past a sprawling Campbell at 3:35. Forwards Chris Wagner and Max Gortz recorded the assists. Later in the period, Amadio finds an open Auger who lifts the puck up and over Enroth on the power play.
Ontario started overtime on the power play for 57 seconds, but could not convert. The Reign’s best opportunity came just as the seconds waned on the man advantage, but Enroth makes the glove save on the Brodzinski shot. Defenseman Brandon Montour scores the game winner on the breakaway with 3:14 remaining for a 4-3 overtime win.
With the win, the Gulls extend their point streak to 10 games. Enroth earns the win with 26 saves.
The Reign take on the Gulls tomorrow night, Saturday, February 4 at 7:00 at Valley View Casino Center. Catch all the action LIVE at OntarioReign.com! Join the Reign on Wednesday, February 8 as they take on the Bakersfield Condors at 7:00 at Citizens Business Bank Arena! Buy Tickets
Become a “Fan” of the Reign on Facebook at Facebook.com/OntarioReign, join the conversation on Twitter at Twitter.com/OntarioReign and follow us on Instagram at Instagram.com/OntarioReignHockey.