San Jose’s net overflowed as the Ontario Reign beat the Barracuda 7-2 at Citizen’s Business Bank Arena. Ontario is nearing the end of a seven games in twelve days stretch, but showed a lot of jump to start the game Saturday night.
The Reign arrived with a flash and drew a couple penalties early in the contest, giving their red hot power play a few chances the produce. Ontario bolsters the 2nd ranked unit in the league and it wouldn’t take them long to make their mark. While the first power play yielded no results, the shift immediately following did. Sam Herr found an Alex Lintuniemi shot that went wide of the net, and snuck it in the net short side giving Ontario the firs lead of the game.
Herr on his goal: “It started with a face off recovery. Me, Cres (Crescenzi) and Borgy (Bjorkstrand) got on the puck and got it up to Dermy (MacDermid). He slid it over to Linty (Lintuniemi) and he did a good job putting the puck through. I was able to find a hole there in the back of the net.”
Less than five minutes after Ontario took a 1-0 lead, they got their second man advantage. Heralded Kings prospect Paul LaDue received a pass at the top of the right face-off circle and waited for the perfect window to shoot in, beating the goalie high to the blocker side.
Recent call up from Manchester Daniel Ciampini brought some energy to the end of the period with a few point blank chances and a couple of whacks on San Jose goaltender Mantas Armalis. The Barracuda started the comeback later in the frame on a goal by John McCarthy. The Reign took a 2-1 lead to the locker room.
Early in the second period San Jose tied the game on a goal by Marcus Sorenson. Shortly thereafter Reign captain Vinny LoVerde was taken into the end boards in his own zone, going down hard and staying down. Head Coach Mike Stothers said after the game that he wasn’t sure how a play like that gets missed by the referees.
LoVerde on the hit: “Im good now, I haven’t seen the replay or anything. Apparently none of the refs saw it either. Thats hockey, thats how it goes, no lingering issues.”
Later in the second period Ontario gained the lead on a power play goal by Jonny Brodzinski. The goal was assisted by Adrian Kempe, who completed a nice give-and-go play with Brodzinski before he snuck one into the net. The Reign would hold on to the 3-2 lead headed into the third period.
Teddy Purcell would net an early 3rd period chance to make it 4-2, as San Jose’s wheels began to come off. Despite missing the end of the 2nd period LoVerde seemingly found a spark of his own. After a long possession in the offensive zone, LoVerde kept a puck in, took it down to the half wall and cut to the net. He found Ciampini, who got it right back to LoVerde, scoring into a gaping net mouth. Sam Herr had an assist on the goal as well, thus completing the Gordie Howe hat trick. After the game he confirmed that it was
his first as a pro.
A second marker by Brodzinski and a late one by Mike Amadio made it 7-2, the final score. Michael Brodzinski, the younger brother of Johnny plays for the San Jose organization but was not in the lineup. The brothers made a point to bring their mom out from Minnesota to see two of her sons.
Brodzinski on the four goal third period: “Stutsy (Stothers) came in after the second period and said that Tucson lost and that this was our chance to take back over first place. We’ve had a few games here where we’ll be up going into the third period, or we’ll be close going into the third and it kind of slips away a little bit. So we just tried to lock down our zone and put pucks to the net and we we’re fortunate enough to have a few of them go in.”
With another solid performance by Jack Campbell and the overload of offense, any coach could be pleased with the win. As we have learned, though, Stothers isn’t always satisfied by his team’s performance just because of a positive outcome. After the game, the coach had plenty to say about the win as well as the continued power play production.
On the win: “It feels great, I mean that’s a lot of goals for us. We just went to Tucson and scored a grand total of three in two games. You need to score some goals to win. We’re hoping to maybe feed off that and be able to continue it tomorrow.”
On power play success: “I think we ended up going 3 for 7 tonight, which, that’s terrific. You’ve got to take advantage of those situations. If a team wants to take penalties on you, you’ve got to make ’em pay. The game is such that it’s hard to get any revenge or satisfaction, maybe a hit or shot, you’ve got to take advantage of the power play”
Veteran T.J. Hensick garnered his 500th AHL career point in the game. The win snaps a two game skid the team was on. The power play stayed red hot and went 3 for 7 in the contest. Ontario will face Rival San Diego in a Sunday matinee. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:00 PM.
Brodzinski – Hensick – Kempe
Purcell – Amadio – Backman
Ciampini – Sutter – Auger
Herr – Crescenzi – Bjorkstrand
Sharipzyanov – LoVerde
MacDermid – LaDue
Lintuniemi – Leslie