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Cedar Park, TX – Forwards Michael Mersch and Jordan Samuels-Thomas each scored twice and three other Reign players earned multi-point games as the Ontario Reign (10-2-2-0) took down the Texas Stars (9-7-0-1) 7-6 at Cedar Park Center Saturday evening.
Six goals found the back of the net in the first period with the Reign taking a 4-2 lead into the intermission.
Mersch opened the scoring 1:55 into the contest with his team-leading eighth goal of the season with help from defenseman Kurtis MacDermid and forward Nic Dowd. Moments later, MacDermid made it 2-0 with an unassisted drive over the glove of Stars netminder John Muse (one save on three shots) at 4:01. Muse would immediately be replaced by Jack Campbell (24 saves).
The Stars responded to the switch as forward Greg Rallo cut the lead in half at 10:33. Stars leading goal scorer Devin Shore reset the game at 12:51 with a power-play goal, beating Reign goaltender Ray Emery (31 saves).
Mersch pulled the momentum back onto the Reign bench by stealing a rebound from Campbell and lighting the lamp on the man advantage at 14:22.
Forward Adrian Kempe reclaimed the two-goal lead with 4:10 left in the period, catching a pass from forward Sean Backman and ripping a shot past Campbell from the right-wing circle.
The momentum swings continued in the second period as both sides struck twice and the Reign held a 6-4 advantage at the break.
Stars defenseman Esa Lindell capitalized on the power play 53 seconds into the frame floating a shot past a screened Emery.
Samuels-Thomas retaliated for Ontario at 4:54 after slipping a shot under the skate of Campbell from the right-wing circle.
Backman made it 6-3 just 25 seconds later with a power-play blast from the left point from Dowd and defenseman Kevin Gravel.
The Stars added their second power-play goal at 9:50 from Matej Stransky.
The Stars continued to fight back and tied the contest in the third period behind tallies from forward Justin Dowling (1:35) and Rallo (11:54), but Samuels-Thomas provided the late-game heroics, burying the game-winning goal at 16:27. Forward Andrew Crescenzi found Samuels-Thomas camped out at the back post of Campbell for the easy tap-in.
Ontario finished the contest 2-for-4 on the power play while the Stars went 2-for-7.
The Reign finished the three-game road trip with a 2-1-0-0 record.