Ontario came into this $2 Bud Light Friday night looking to get off a five game skid and get their second win of the year. They welcomed the Tucson Roadrunners, who sat at second in the division before the commencement of action Friday.
Sheldon Rempal filed back into Mike Stothers’ lineup after being sent back to Ontario from his first call up to the Los Angeles Kings. His eight points in four games was still leading the Reign. The team has struggled out of the gate this season and had an abysmal powerplay conversion rate coming into the game. Unfortunately for Ontario, Friday wouldn’t be the day it was corrected.
Just 24 seconds into the game Mario Kempe, brother of Adrian, fed teammate David Ullstrom for the first goal of the contest. This was followed by another goal during a 3-on-1 break for Tucson. Conor Garland fed David Ullstrom and it was quickly 2-0 Roadrunners. Conor Garland found some more daylight in the Ontario zone following a faceoff and beat Petersen for the third goal of the period. The goal would be the last shot Petersen faced, as Peter Budaj came in to relieve him. The teams traded powerplay opportunities until they took matching penalties to create a four-on-four situation. Alex Lintuniemi picked up an errant wrap around and beat Tucson goalie Adin Hill farside to bring Ontario within two.
The second period got off to a relieving start as Emerson Etem potted his first goal as a member of the Reign. Etem turned and swung at a floating puck and made contact, beating Hill to bring Ontario back within two. A Lintuniemi penalty would late negate an Ontario powerplay about half way through it. When the Reign went shorthanded on the same penalty, Tucson forced the puck to the goal mouth and Michael Bunting beat Budaj to make it 5-2. Matt Luff later took a puck from Ontario’s blue line on a 2-on-1 with Mikey Eyssimont and scored, beating Hill clean. Shortly thereafter, Tucson continued their onslaught, scoring two more goals before the period ended to make it a four goal lead at 7-3.
Daniel Brickley started the third by taking a penalty in the Ontario zone, putting the Reign on a penalty kill. Captain Brett Sutter, playing responsibly, pushed the puck into the Tucson zone. He dropped it off for Lintuniemi who fed a wide open Luff backdoor for the first Reign shorthanded goal of the year, and made it 7-4. The teams would each score one more goal, but the game was decided in the first frame. 8-5 final for visiting Tucson.
Ontario plays again Thursday, November 1st when they host the Texas Stars.
Moulson – Mitchell – Rempal
Eyssimont – Sutter – Luff
Morrison – Maillet – Bauman
Etem – Rymsha – Herr
MacDermid – Clague
Reddekopp – Roy
Brickley – Lintuniemi
NHL Radio Replay: State of the Kingdom 10-22-18
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