04/10/2009 9:41 PM
Ontario Claims Victory In Inaugural Playoff Game
ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and AHL Manchester Monarchs, defeated the Stockton Thunder, 4-3, Friday evening before a crowd of 3,969 fans at Citizens Business Bank Arena. The game marked the Reign’s first playoff appearance in club history. Ontario took a 1-0 lead in the series with their victory.
The Reign drew the first blood of the playoff series with less than a minute remaining in the first period. Right wing Bud Holloway cut around the net and snapped the puck out to defenseman Shawn Germain, who sent a one-timer past Stockton netminder Andrew Perugini. Defenseman Dan Knapp also registered an assist on the goal, and the Reign took their 1-0 lead into the second frame.
The Reign scored their second unanswered goal during a power play that resulted from a Thunder hooking minor. Right wing Jon Rheault picked up the puck in the neutral zone and skated through two Stockton defenders. Rheault slipped the puck through the five-hole to extend the Reign’s lead, 2-0. Dan Knapp and defenseman David Walker notched the assists.
Stockton answered back at 14:18 and cut Ontario's lead by one. Centers Craig Valette and Cory Urquhart skated into the zone on a 2-on-1 rush. Valette passed the puck over to Urquhart, who wristed a shot past Ontario goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. Goaltender Andrew Perugini left the game after playing 36 minutes and was replaced by Bryan Pitton in the net. The score remained 2-1 with a Reign lead as the clubs geared up for the final period of play.
The Reign extended their lead, 3-1, just 59 seconds into the third period. Defenseman PJ Atherton squeezed a shot through the five-hole of netminder Bryan Pitton. Jon Rheault picked up his second point of the night with the assist.
The Thunder added another goal to the board at 7:18. Cory Urquhart beat an Ontario defenseman to the front of the net and threw the puck past Zatkoff. Defenseman Ryan Constant and Craig Valette picked up the assists.
During a power play at 11:27, the Thunder tied the game, 3-3, and Cory Urquhart recorded a hat trick with his third goal of the game. Urquhart fired the puck through traffic and into the bottom left corner of the net. Center Judd Blackwater and defenseman Robbie Bina claimed the assists on the play, and both teams looked for the equalizer as the clock ticked down.
Ontario reclaimed the lead just under a minute later on a power play. Shawn Germain sniped the puck up into the top-shelf of the net with assists from PJ Atherton and left wing Todd Jackson. Germain registered his second point of the game on the play, and his goal gave the Reign a 4-3 lead over the Thunder. Ontario was able to hold off Stockton for the remainder of play, and claimed the win with a final score of Reign 4, Thunder 3.
To view the box score, click here.
1. ONT – S. Germain
2. STK – C. Urquhart
3. ONT – J. Rheault
2009 Kelly Cup Playoff tickets are now on sale!! Tickets for all playoff rounds start at just $236/seat and range through only $428. Call (909)941-PUCK (7825) to reserve your seats. Click here for more information about playoff tickets.
Playoffs are here!! Are you looking for a place to stay for the Ontario Reign playoff games? The Sheraton Ontario Airport Hotel is offering a special Reign rate of $92 (plus tax) per night. Be sure to call the Sheraton sales office to inquire about special group rates of 15 rooms or more. They have shuttle service to and from the airport, Citizens Business Bank Arena, as well as some other destination sites in the area. Call Dolly Fiacco at (909)937-8000 (ex. 660) to book your rooms today! For more information, go to sheraton.com/ontario.
Dickey’s BBQ has a special running all day on Saturday, April 11. Get a sandwich for only $2.99!! Please note that this offer is valid ONLY on Saturday at Dickey’s BBQ at 9670 Haven Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga. Get FREE ice cream everyday! Dickeys BBQ… Slow Cooked, Served Fast from the Start.
Boston’s Restaurant will host a Post Game Playoff Party on Saturday immediately following the game. Fans: bring your ticket stub to Boston’s for a 15% discount on all food items. The first 50 fans in attendance will receive a lower level ticket (valued at $21) to a future Ontario Reign Playoff Game! One lucky fan will win a team autographed jersey (must be present to win)! So after the game, head over to Boston’s Post Game Playoff Party and you could win one of more than $1,000 worth of tickets or merchandise. Boston’s is located right around the corner at 4th and Milliken. Boston’s the Gourmet Pizza.
Attention Reign Fans! Team action photos are now available for online purchase at www.ontarioreign.com under the “Multimedia - Photo Gallery” tab. The Ontario Reign team photographer is Lee Calkins.
Click here to see the 2008-2009 regular season conference standings.
Single game tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com, at all TicketMaster locations, or by calling (213) 480-3232.