Report filed by Scott Coffman for MayorsManor…
Captain Derek Couture‘s hat trick lead the way as the Ontario Reign beat up on the San Francisco Bulls 7-0 on Friday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena. He scored all three of his goals on the power play and added an assist for a four point night.
“He’s our warrior and he’s a battler,” said coach Jason Christie, “It’s good to see him get a little ink on the score sheet with three goals.”
Couture scored late in the second period after receiving a pass from Colton Yellow Horn in the slot and beating San Francisco goalie Taylor Nelson. He then proceeded to score two more power play goals in the third period, both were assisted by defensemen Chris Huxley and Vincent LoVerde.
“I think hat tricks are hard to come by in this game,” Couture said.
Chris Carrozzi recorded his second shutout on the year in net, turning away all 21 San Francisco shots. With the win, Carrozzi picked up his ninth victory in 13 games played this season.
“The team played really well in front of me,” said Carrozzi. “Definitely give credit to my team.”
The Reign broke open the scoring in the second period starting with a power play goal by veteran defenseman Paul Mara. He snuck down low and received a pass from Minnesota Wild forward Devin Setoguchi - Mara first tipped a shot towards the goalie and then tapped in the goal off the rebound. It was Mara’s first goal this season.
In what could have been a huge turning point in the game, Bulls forward Jamie Devane missed a wide open net on a 2-on-1 opportunity. It would have tied the score; instead a couple minutes after the miss the Reign produced two goals in just 31 seconds. Kyle Kraemer scored the initial goal when he was left open in front of the Bulls net. Right after that, on a similar play, Dan DaSilva found room in the slot and he put the Reign up 3-0. Couture then scored his first goal of the night, on the power play.
Jason Beeman also added to the onslaught, converting after a missed shot from defenseman Matthew Clune took an unusual bounce off the glass and popped right in front of him. He shot it past a confused Nelson to make it 4-0.
Next up for the Reign is another home game. They’ll take on the Idaho Steelheads for the third time in eight days.
CLIFFORD INJURY UPDATE – As reported earlier on MayorsManor, LA Kings forward Kyle Clifford (who has signed with the Reign during the NHL lockout) is nursing an upper body injury. He was moved to the reserve list (in-active status) on Thursday and we confirmed on Friday that he isn’t going to play this weekend. After the game, coach Christie had this to say about the situation - “Well, right now we have guys that we can put in the line-up and he’s battling. He has an upper body and it’s something we don’t need to rush this right now.” Christie went on to say Clifford didn’t aggravate the injury this week, referring to it as “same old status quo.”