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Peter Budaj registered his second consecutive shutout win while Michael Mersch (two goals, one assist) and Sean Backman (one goal, two assists) each picked up three-point games as the Ontario Reign (26-10-3-1) dismantled the Manitoba Moose (11-24-3-4) 4-0 at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
The shutout is Budaj’s AHL-leading seventh of the season and the Reign enter the AHL All-Star break on a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1-0).
After recently missing 12 games due to injury, Reign forward Kris Newbury opened the scoring in his second game back in the lineup midway through the first period, catching a pass from Backman and slipped a shot between the legs of Moose goaltender Eric Comrie (24 saves) at 10:33.
In the second period, Mersch made it 2-0 with his team-leading 15th goal of the season with help from Derek Forbort and Backman at 6:33. Less than three minutes later, Backman made it a three-goal advantage from Mersch and Zach Leslie at 9:31.
Mersch sealed the victory and the shutout in the third period with an empty-net goal at 19:14 from Nic Dowd.
The Reign finished the contest 0-for-4 on the power play while the Moose went 0-for-3.