Clifford finished the night with a goal, two assists, a plus-five rating (!) and three shots on goal.
While his stats line may have been the focus of the game because he’s an NHL player, the real story was Reign forward CJ Stretch who posted four goals in Ontario’s 7-3 win. Stretch now leads the team with 12 goals and 22 points through the first 17 games.
The Reign will play three games at home this week – Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – marking Clifford’s first games in Southern California since the Kings playoff run last spring.
Below are a few pictures of Clifford from last night’s game, followed by a game recap provided by the team.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.– The Ontario Reign (11-5-0-0), defending Pacific Division Champions and proud affiliate of the NHL’s 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, scored six unanswered goals to beat the Bakersfield Condors (5-11-1-2) 7-3 before 8,388 at Rabobank Arena Saturday night. CJ Stretch and Chris Carrozzi each reached milestones in the victory.
The Reign fell behind early as Evan Trupp scored just 1:13 into the game to unleash a flurry of over 8,000 stuffed animals on the Condors’ 14th annual Teddy Bear Toss. Minutes after play resumed, CJ Stretch tied the match 1-1. Stretch took a pass from Kyle Kraemer in the slot and Condors goaltender Scott Greenham made an aggressive move to meet the Reign center. But Stretch abruptly reversed motion, drifted backwards along the red line as the Bakersfield netminder put himself out of position, and snapped the puck into the far side of the net. The Condors jumped out to a 3-1 lead with goals by Jacob Legace at 11:08 and Zach Cohen at 13:45 before the Reign drew even. Brendan Sheahan cut the Condors’ lead to 3-2 only 29 seconds later as he notched his third goal of the season with the help of Stretch and Stanley Cup champion, Kyle Clifford. Clifford tied the game at 3-3 at 16:47 with his first goal in a Reign sweater as he skated o ut of the right corner and let loose with a rocket of a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. The goal was unassisted, but Kraemer was a factor as he was in Greenham’s face when the puck got past him.
Stretch scored his second of the night and gave Ontario its first lead of the game at 10:41 of the second frame as he buried a rebound into the empty side of the Condors’ net. Kraemer and Clifford registered assists on the play. Dan DaSilva made it 5-3 with his sixth of the season at 15:41. The Sheahan brothers each had assists.
Stretch registered the first hat trick of his professional career as he slipped a rebound past Greenham just 32 seconds into the third period to give Ontario a 6-3 lead. The Reign sniper followed up with his fourth goal of the contest at 4:15 and Ontario went on to beat Bakersfield 7-3.
Stretch claimed a pair of Reign records with four goals totaling five points in a single game and Carrozzi made his 2,000th professional save on the way to his sixth consecutive win (7-3-0). Kraemer finished the night with four assists.
1. ONT – CJ Stretch
2. BAK – Evan Trupp
3. ONT – Kyle Kraemer
The Reign head home to Citizens Business Bank Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28 as they face off against the Orlando Solar Bears for the first time in team history and the only time this season.
Kyle Clifford is leaving LA, taking his talents to Ontario – his first interview with the Reign