ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign (10-4-0-0), defending Pacific Division Champions and proud affiliate of the NHL’s 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, crushed the San Francisco Bulls (3-9-0-2) 8-1 before a crowd of 5,561 at Citizens Business Bank Arena Wednesday night. Mario Lamoureux earned the first Reign hat trick since the 2009-10 season and Derek Couture had a goal and three assists.
The Bulls had a chance to take the lead on an early power-play, but JF Berube got his glove on Chris Lawrence’s point-blank snap shot to keep it scoreless. Ontario won the ensuing faceoff and cleared the puck as the penalty expired. Jason Beeman outhustled the San Francisco defenders down the ice and carried the puck to the slot where he fed Dan DaSilva for a one-timer. The Reign winger’s fifth tally of the season came at 6:26. Lamoureux netted his third goal of the season at 13:03 when Bulls defenseman, Joe Sova, tipped Lamoureux’s slap shot into his own net. Brock Sheahan and Couture earned assists on the play. Lamoureux registered his second goal of the frame at 18:21 as Kyle Kraemer’s pass found the rookie forward alone in the slot and he snapped it over the glove of Taylor Nelson.
The Reign had shut out the Bulls for 120 minutes and 31 seconds and scored 12 unanswered goals over their three-game series, but Sova ended the streaks with a waist-high redirection past Berube at 1:26 of the second to cut the Ontario lead to 3-1. Devin Setoguchi answered at 2:46. The NHLer peeled off the side boards and into the slot where he extended the Reign lead to 4-1 with a hard blast. Couture earned his second assist of the night.
CJ Stretch led off the third with a carbon copy of Setoguchi’s marker, including an assist by Couture. It was Stretch’s third power-play goal and eighth overall goal of the year. The Reign offense continued to click. Ontario went up 6-1 as DaSilva and Brodie Sheahan worked the puck to the side of the Bulls net where Colton Yellow Horn tipped in his team-leading ninth goal. After earning three helpers, Couture put one in the “G” column for himself with a power-play marker at 12:46, assisted by Cameron Burt and Chris Huxley. Lamoureux closed out the scoring at 17:54 as he tagged the roof of the net for the hat trick.
Berube earned his fifth win of the season with 26 saves on 27 shots. The goal was the only mark against him in his last two starts. Nelson took the loss with 26 saves on 34 shots. The Reign completed the three-game sweep, outscoring the Bulls 18-2 and outshooting them 117-60.
1. ONT – Mario Lamoureux
2. ONT – Dan DaSilva
3. ONT – Derek Couture
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