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Adrian Kempe scored the lone goal for the Ontario Reign (34-14-4-1), but it was not enough in a 2-1 overtime loss to the San Diego Gulls (31-20-2-2) in front of a sellout crowd of 9,491 on Saturday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
The Gulls opened the scoring early into the first period when Nic Kerdiles fired a shot past netminder Peter Budaj at 4:07. The period proved eventful with Ontario firing 10 shots on goal eight minutes into the frame. Through the first 20 minutes, the Reign outshot the Gulls, 14-6.
In the second frame, the Reign pressed the Gulls’ defense and generated plenty of scoring chances, but netminder Anton Khudobin continued to turn away all shots faced.
The Reign broke open the third period and it paid off at 7:45 when Kempe knotted the score, hammering home his ninth goal of the season. Kempe blasted the shot unassisted between the faceoff circles to snap his 17-game goalless skid. His last goal recorded was January 8th against the Stockton Heat. The game remained 1-1 as time expired, sending the contest into overtime.
Forward Mike Sgarbossa tallied the game-winning goal at 3:42 in overtime to extend the Gulls’ unbeaten streak to 10 games.
Khudobin earned the win with 35 saves on 36 shots while Budaj took the loss with 18 stops on 20 attempts.