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Ontario, CA – The Ontario Reign (29-16-8-0) made a late third-period push, but fell short to the Tucson Roadrunners (23-22-4-1), 2-1, Saturday evening at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
“I actually thought that the first two periods we weren’t good on the power play. We weren’t moving the puck as well as we should have,” said veteran forward Brett Sutter. “In the third period, adrenaline started to hit and the pucks to the net backed them off a bit, but our goal was a little too late.”
After a scoreless first period, it was Tucson who would get on the board in the second frame, scoring on the power play after forward T.J. Hensick was called for cross-checking. Defenseman Michalek Zbynek netted his fifth goal of the season to put the Roadrunners ahead, 1-0 at 5:46. Tucson extended their lead at 10:52 as forward Mitch Moroz potted the second goal with help from former Reign defenseman Jamie McBain and forward Branden Troock. The Roadrunners continued to pressure the Reign defense, outshooting the home team 19-7 at the end of the period.
Ontario started the third period off much better, gaining momentum after Sutter drew a cross-checking penalty at 5:27. Defenseman Alex Lintuniemi fed the puck to Sutter who launched it into the net to cut the Tucson lead in half. The Reign continued to generate chances, tacking on a game-high 16 shots, but could not find the game-tying tally before time expired.
Reign netminder Jeff Zatkoff recorded 37 saves in the loss, while netminder Adin Hill registered 29 stops to preserve the win for the Roadrunners.
After the game, Head Coach Mike Stothers stressed the importance of playing a full sixty-minute game: “We’re going to try to play like we did the third for a full sixty minutes. We’re going to actually try to play back-to-back games together which we haven’t done in a while so there’s less things to work on in the coming week.”
The Reign attack a three-game in three-day weekend starting on Friday, March 10 against the Bakersfield Condors at 7:00 at Rabobank Arena and return home on Saturday, March 11 for Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley Night and HSSVB jerseys and jersey auction at 6:00 against the Roadrunners! The first 5,000 fans receive an Ontario Reign Dog Bowl! Buy Tickets
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Reign on Sunday, March 12 at 3:00 against the Roadrunners. The Reign will wear special green St. Patrick’s Day warmup jerseys and host a silent auction benefiting the Hope Reigns Foundation. Score a limited edition Ontario Reign Violent Gentlemen T-Shirt and ticket starting at just $35! Grab your pack at OntarioReign.com!
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