Ontario Starts Season 2-0 with Gritty Come-from-Behind Victory
STOCKTON, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, played from behind all night, but tied the game up in the third period and went on to beat the Thunder 5-4 in overtime on a Chaz Johnson wrist shot.
The Thunder’s Jesse Gimblett was sporting a black eye from two fights in last night’s game, but it was nothing compared to the black eye the Thunder would suffer at the hands of the Reign before 5,769 at Stockton Arena.
The Thunder controlled play in the first period, outshooting the Reign 13-3, and went into intermission leading 2-0. The Reign finally got on the board early in the second. Aaron Lewadniuk fed a pass to a wide-open Eric Doyle in the slot who fired a wrist shot past Tyson Sexsmith to cut the lead to 2-1. Stockton came right back. Less than a minute later, Jim McKenzie put a one-timer between the pads of Reign goaltender Martin Jones to again put the Thunder up by two.
Stockton had a chance to pile it on with two straight power plays, including nineteen seconds of 5-on-3 play, but the Reign killed the opportunity and scored a pair of mirror-image goals to knot it up at 3-all. Jeff Corey walked out from behind the Thunder net and took a backhand shot which bounced to Jon Francisco who put the puck into a wide-open net to make it 3-2. The game-tying goal came as Francisco attempted a wraparound that was redirected by Corey past Sexsmith.
But again, the Thunder came right back to re-take the lead when Fraser Clair got behind the Reign defense and slipped the puck past Martin. The teams went into the second break with the Thunder up 4-3.
It was the Reigns shot at a 5-on-3 in the third, and they didn’t let it go to waste. Aaron Lewadniuk took a tic-tac-toe pass from Matt Delahey and Jordan Morrison and buried the puck in the net to tie it up 4-4 and send the match into overtime.
Both teams had quality opportunities in the extra frame, but the winning goal came on a simple wrist shot by Chaz Johnson as he crossed the Thunder blue line. The shot went off Sexsmith’s shoulder and deflected into the net to give the Reign the 5-4 overtime victory.
1) ONT - Chaz Johnson
2) STK - Ryan Constant
3) ONT - Jeff Corey
Complete scoring summary available by clicking here.
Don’t miss the Reign’s first home game of the season against the Stockton Thunder on Saturday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m, presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino. All fans in attendance will receive a 2010 - 2011 magnet schedule, compliments of Shakey's Pizza. Cameron "the Crazy Fan" will be making an appearance at the game. He will be tossing out t-shirts and getting the crowd pumped. The first post-game player party of the season will be held at Boston's Pizza (4th & Milliken location) immediately following the game. Come out, meet your favorite Reign players, and enjoy 15% off of your bill (excluding alcohol) when you show your ticket stub from that game.
Tickets for opening night are still available and start at $10. They can be purchased at the Citizen Business Bank Arena box office or online at www.ontarioreign.com. Call the Reign front office for more information at (909) 941-PUCK (7825).