Teddy Bears Rain Down on Ice, but Reign Fall 3-2 in ShootoutDec 19, 2015
Peter Budaj finished with 21 saves in the net, but it was not enough as the Ontario Reign (15-4-2-1) fell, 3-2, to the San Diego Gulls (14-10-0-1) in the shootout on Smart Solar Power Teddy Bear Toss night at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Trailing 2-1 in the third period, forward Kris Newbury scored with less than 30 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime and eventually the shootout.
The Gulls opened the first period pressuring offensively, firing six shots within the first six minutes that were all denied by Budaj. Entering the game, San Diego ranked number one in the AHL with a 24.8% success rate on the man advantage and scored their first goal on the power play to take a 1-0 lead at 11:22. Forward Nick Ritchie scored the power-play goal —his 10th of the season. Defenseman Brandon Montour picked up the assist, his 20th of the campaign, while forward Chris Mueller was given the secondary assist.
Minutes later, Reign forward Justin Auger netted the equalizer, unassisted, at 16:28 for his fifth goal of the season and sent thousands to teddy bears to the ice. The plush toys were collected and donated to Toys for Tots.
San Diego took a 2-1 lead when Ritchie buried a shot past Budaj just over four minutes into the middle frame for his second goal of the game. Forward Stefan Noesen was credited with the assist.
Ontario’s defense continued its success in the third, limiting San Diego to one shot. As the clock wound down, Newbury slid the puck past Khudobin with help from forward Jonny Brodzinski who extends his point streak to four games (two goals, two assists).
After a scoreless overtime, Ritchie scored in the first round and forward Mike Sgarbossa netted the game-winner in shootout to help lead the Gulls to victory.