March 31, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laura Hendrick, Ontario Reign PR Intern
Ontario Reigns as Pacific Division Champions with 6-1 Triumph
Sellout crowd earns Reign 3rd consecutive attendance honors
- The Ontario Reign (43-21-5-3), proud affiliate of the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, finished the 2011-12 season as Pacific Division champions in a blow-out, 6-1 victory over the Western Conference Champion Alaska Aces before a sellout crowd of 9,592 on Saturday night. The crowd pushed Ontario to their third consecutive ECHL Attendance award.
Ontario came out of the gates in the first period and seemed to be back in their element keeping the pressure on the Aces and taking control of the puck. It wasn’t until the 13:40 mark when Chris Cloud netted the first goal of the game. Bill Bagron took the puck up the middle and his shot deflected off an Aces stick back to Cloud who was able to get a clean shot. About five minutes later, C.J. Stretch took a shot on James Reid which was caught up in the Aces defense; Kevin Estrada was able to get it out of the mix to Derek Couture who was in perfect position to give the Reign the two-goal advantage.
The Reign continued to take control of the board during the second frame. Alan Mazur scored the Reign’s third unanswered goal just 3:36 in while on the power play. A pass from Stretch to Couture made it to Mazur’s stick who was able to fire it past Reid’s blocker side. Alaska broke Ontario’s run with an unassisted goal by Brandon Gentile. Closing out the period with just two minutes to go, Couture deked out Reid and held the puck just long enough to fire it over Reid’s glove earning him his 60th point of the season, the most in a single season of any Reign player in franchise history.
In the final frame, Ontario added two more goals to their lead with tallies from Bill Bagron and Geoff Irwin. Bagron received a pass from Cloud in front of the net and tipped it over the pads of Reid at 10:26. The final goal was the perfect way to conclude the regular season and take the Pacific Division Champion title. Irwin skated the puck through the Aces zone from the blueline on a shorthanded breakaway and let one fly right past the Aces goaltender.
Berube earned the win stopping 38 of 39 Alaska shots and Reid took the Aces loss stopping 17 of 23 shots.
1) ONT - D. Couture
2) ONT - C. Stretch
3) ONT - J. Berube
to view the box score.
The playoff run will begin for the Reign on Tuesday, April 3 and Wednesday, April 4 on the road. The opponent will not be officially determined until the final game of the regular season on Saturday, March 31.
Ontario will return home to finish the first round at the Citizens Business Bank Arena for the third game of the series on Friday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m. If necessary, the fourth game will be played Saturday, April 7 at 6:00 p.m. and should a decision-making fifth game be required, that game will be on Monday, April 9 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets for the Reign’s first round playoff games start at just $12. Visit ontarioreign.com
or call 909-941-PUCK (7825) now to get yours.