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Ontario, CA – The Ontario Reign (29-17-9-0) fired a season-high 54 shots on goal and capitalized twice on the power play, but the Tucson Roadrunners (24-23-6-0) prevailed 5-4 at Citizens Business Bank Arena Saturday evening.
The power play for both teams grabbed attention in the opening period as the first three tallies found the back of the net with the man advantage. The Roadrunners opened the scoring at 5:48 as former Reign defenseman Jamie McBain knocked a rebound past goaltender Jeff Zatkoff (L, 23 saves on 28 shots). Reign forward Brett Sutter retaliated moments later, redirecting a Mike Amadio shot past Roadrunners keeper Marek Langhamer (W, 50 saves on 54 shots). Forward Laurent Dauphin put Tucson back in front with a rebound marker at 11:18. Defenseman Zbynek Michalek made it 3-1 late in the frame, blasting in his sixth goal of the season at 16:12.
The Reign rallied in the second period, outshooting the Roadrunners 15-4. Forward Patrick Bjorkstrand pulled the contest back within one at 13:32, redirecting an Alexx Privitera drive from the right-wing point. The momentum was short-lived as the Roadrunners went up 4-2 at 17:09 with a quick snapshot from the stick of Jeremy Morin.
In the third period, the Reign continued to fire away and once again pulled within striking distance. Forward Sam Herr tapped through an Andrew Crescenci feed at 9:50, but the Roadrunners fired right back at 11:42 with a Grayson Downing marker. Head Coach Mike Stothers pulled Zatkoff off for an extra attacker with just over three minutes left in the game and rewarded at 19:55 with a drive from team captain Vincent LoVerde. The Reign tacked on several chances in the final moments, but ran out of time.
The Reign finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play while the Roadrunners went 2-for-4.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Reign tomorrow, 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!
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.