Ontario Reign Battle; Edge Checkers on Teddy Bear TossDec 3, 2016
Ontario, CA – Forward Brett Sutter buried a rebounded shot with 33.7 seconds remaining in regulation and the Ontario Reign (8-5-4-0) edged the Charlotte Checkers (9-11-1-0), 3-2, on Saturday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Forward Jonny Brodzinski led the Reign with a goal and an assist and netminder Jack Campbell had another solid performance with 23 saves.
Evidence of Brodzinski’s toughness shows every time he smiles.
He did a lot of that tonight as he now takes over the team points lead with an overall 15 points (six goals, nine assists).
“I felt like we needed this one. It was a little confidence builder for everybody. After last week we were kind of in the dumps with the losing streak so this is really good for us and I think the spirits will be high going into next week,” said Brodzinski.
After the game, Head Coach Mike Stothers spoke of the team’s calm confidence and their strong work ethic.
“I felt pretty good about the way we were playing. I don’t think it was quite as good of a game as last night, but I thought it was good. There were more positives than negatives.”
It was forward T.J. Hensick’s power play goal that sent hundreds of teddy bears flying from the stands at 14:45 of the first period. The former Checker retrieved the puck from forward Mike Amadio and scored on a slap shot from the right circle. Defenseman Zach Leslie earned the secondary assist. Campbell started the period strong registering nine saves in the first 20 minutes.
Brodzinski got things going in the middle period when he stole a pass and weaved through traffic to put Ontario up 2-0 at 5:33. The Checkers fought back however, with former Reign player Kris Newbury burying a rebounded shot at 7:56 to cut the home team’s lead in half. Ontario struggled a bit throughout the period and gave the Checkers a chance to tie it up when forward Levko Koper snuck the puck past Campbell fresh off the face off to tie it up, 2-2, at 15:06. On the goal, Charlotte forward Erik Carlsson finished the night with two assists.
Both teams were off to a slow start in the third period, with each side struggling to find a rhythm. The game seemed destined to go into overtime until Sutter came away with the game winning marker in the dying seconds of the game to hand the Reign their second consecutive victory.
“I felt like that [last night] was our best game of the year,” said Brodzinski. “Every facet of our game was really good yesterday. I think just building off that, we played a well-rounded game today.”
With the win, the Reign hand the Checkers their seventh road loss.
The Reign head out on the road for two contests against the Tucson Roadrunners on Wednesday, December 7 and Friday, December 9. Catch all the action at OntarioReign.com!
The Reign return home on Saturday, December 10 against the Charlotte Checkers at 6:00 at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Celebrate 8-bit Game Night presented by Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. The first 5,000 fans receive an 8-bit Reign vinyl figure! Buy Tickets