Division rival Bakersfield was in town to take on a red-hot Reign team. Ontario came into the game having posted consecutive wins against against San Jose and San Diego. Wednesday night, they would continue their dominance of the Condors, winning 3-2 moving to 4-0-1 against them on the year. Jonny Brodzinski would score the game winner, his fourth goal during the three game winning streak. Goalie Jack Campbell tied Petr Budaj’s franchise record for consecutive starts with 22, going 16-4-2. Campbell’s 19th win keeps him in the lead for AHL goaltenders.
The teams took a bit a of extended feeling out period for division rivals, but it wasn’t long before the lamp was lit. First, Mark Fayne of Bakersfield took a bad clearing attempt and beat goalie Jack Campbell. Less than 60 seconds later, Adrian Kempe entered the Bakersfield zone with a head of steam and drove to the net. His drive created a rebound opportunity and wide open net for Andrew Crescenzi, who found pay-dirt. Another turnover from ONT would lead to a breakaway chance for Taylor Beck, Bakersfield’s top scorer. Beck made no mistake, burying the puck behind Campbell and giving the Condors the 2-1 lead. Despite giving up two power play chances before end of the period, Ontario kept the deficit to one.
Ruts in the ice began to form as both teams were called for multiple penalties within the first five and a half minutes of the second frame. During four on four action, Reign forward Mike Amadio grabbed the puck and circled the net in Bakersfield’s zone. He fed a wide open Teddy Purcell, who beat the goalie with a rebound off his own shot for his sixth goal of the season. Amadio spoke after the game about his assist tonight and his first full season as a pro.
Amadio on the play: “Teddy (Purcell) made a cross-ice pass to me and I kind of bobbled it and then chipped it passed their d-men. There was a two on one with me and Vinny (LoVerde) I think and I saw Teddy at the last second coming in high so I just gave it to him there.”
On his first pro season: “It’s definitely a different adjustment. Coming in last year I got a little taste and it was good for me, knowing what to expect. But i’ve had my ups and downs this year so I’ve just got to keep my head high. Not get too low when things aren’t going good and not get too high when things are going well.”
The Reign were handed three power play chances as the period wound down, but were unable to find the back of the net. The game would be decided in the final period.
The third period started with a bang as Kurtis MacDermid took on veteran tough man Joel Rechlicz. The next shift a strong forecheck by Brett Sutter forced Bryce Aneloski to hold him and sent the Reign back to the power play. This chance would be different, though, in that the puck possesion was present throughout, and it paid off. A patient move by Purcell at the top of the point opened a shooting lane and Brodzinski got a piece of it to score. The goal was Brodzinski’s fourth in three games, not including his shootout winner against the Gulls. Sutter continued his perilous period, dictating play on the ice with his physicality and puck control. Stothers showered praise on his veteran forward after the game.
Stothers on Sutter: “Sutts has been really good. That’s just the things he does, he plays hard. He gets out of his comfort zone and drags his teammates with him. We were a litte bit sluggish to start, we needed a guy to kind of lead the charge and tonight he did so. He did a lot of good things for us, he was a beast.”
On Jack Campbell’s play this season: “Its been terrific, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. The storyline is eerily similar with Buds (Petr Buadj) and Soupy (Campbell). The year before and the trials and tribulations that they went through. He has certainly got an opportunity here to play. He is a terrific teammate and the guys love playing in front of him much the same as they did for Buds. Works hard, and the schedule has been such that hes been able to carry a pretty heavy workload. It doesnt seem to be slwoing him down any.”
Ontario will travel to Texas to face the Rampage for a set of back to back games. The Reign look to avenge the result of their last contest, a 5-1 win for San Antonio back on November 9.
Backman – Hensick – Purcell
Sutter – Amadio – Brodzinski
Crescenzi – Kempe – Auger
Herr – Bjorkstrand – Ciampini
Schilling – LoVerde
MacDermid – LaDue
Lintuniemi – Leslie
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