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Cedar Park, TX – Forward Justin Auger scored two power-play goals and three other skaters netted multi-point games, but the Ontario Reign (2-1-1-0) fell to the Texas Stars (3-3-1-0) 5-4 at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park Friday evening. The loss marks the first-ever setback against the Stars (7-1-0-0 all-time).
Postgame Interview: Justin Auger
Postgame Interview: Mike Stothers
Stars defenseman Julius Honka opened the scoring 5:25 into the contest slipping a shot under the blocker of Reign netminder Jack Flinn (L, 26 saves on 31 shots) from the right-wing circle, but Reign forward Michael Mersch evened the contest 44 seconds later knocking in a Jonny Brodzinski drive off the post and past Stars goalie Maxime Lagace (27 saves on 31 shots). Later in the frame, forward Justin Auger put the Reign in front with a power-play marker with help from defenseman Paul LaDue at 14:16.
The two sides went back and forth in the second period before settling on a 4-4 score through 40 minutes of play. Stars forward Matej Stransky and defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuck gave the Stars a 3-2 advantage before Auger buried his second power-play goal of the game at 13:23. Less than three minutes later, Stars captain Travis Morin made it 4-3 lifting a backhanded shot past an unsuspecting Flinn. With time winding down, Lagace misplayed the puck, turning it over to defenseman Vincent LoVerde at the right point and sent a fluttering shot toward the net and redirected in by Brodzinski with 24 seconds remaining.
Early in the third period, Honka buried the eventual game-winning marker and the man advantage with a snapshot off the right-wing circle at 3:03. The Reign fired 10 shots in the final frame, were awarded a late power-play and pulled Flinn for the extra skater, but could not strike on the 6-on-4 advantage. Ontario finished the contest 2-for-3 on the power play while the Stars went 2-for-2.
The Ontario Reign continue a five-game road trip tomorrow, Saturday, October 29 against the Texas Stars at 5:00 p.m. PT at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park in Cedar Park, Texas. The journey goes through Cedar Park, San Antonio (October 30) and Tucson, Arizona (November 4-5) before returning home to Citizens Business Bank Arena on Wednesday, November 9 to host the San Antonio Rampage at 7:00 p.m. PT. Buy Tickets
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