Chaz Johnson started the Reign scoring at 5:23 of the first period. Aaron Lewadniuk picked up the puck behind the net and carved his way through three Salmon Kings to the slot where he fired a wrist shot. Johnson, who was stationed at the left post, guided the puck past Salmon King goaltender, Daren Machesney, for the 1-0 lead.
Victoria tied it half way through the period when Matt Stefanishion tipped a shot past Kellen Briggs and went up 2-1on a short-handed goal by Ryan MacMurchy. With Ontario on the power play, the puck squirted past a Reign defender at the blue line. MacMurchy nabbed the puck, took it end-to-end and went top-shelf for the score.
Brett O’Malley registered the first professional goal of his career on a power play at 18:48 to bring the Reign even with the Salmon Kings, 2-2. Machesney was hugging the right post, but O’Malley somehow wedged it between them from a severe angle for the goal.
The Salmon Kings built a 4-2 lead with two quick goals in the second period by Rick Cleaver and Michael Wilson.
Lewadniuk scored early in the third to pull Ontario within one. Johnson was fighting for the puck with a Victoria defender, when the puck squirted into the crease. Lewadniuk quickly snapped-up the loose puck and slipped it into the left side of the net. Though Ontario put pressure on Victoria throughout the third, Victoria thwarted each Reign opportunity and held on for the 4-3 win.
Machesney saved 22 of 25 for the win, while Briggs saved 24 of 28 and took the loss.
Tonight’s three stars were:
1) VIC – Rick Cleaver
2) ONT – Aaron Lewadniuk
3) VIC – Rob Hennigar
Saturday, November 20 is Humane Society Jersey Night, sponsored by the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley. Reign players will be wearing one-of-a-kind jerseys that will be auctioned off immediately following the match against Las Vegas. Auction proceeds benefit the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley.
It's also "Beat Vegas" Cap Night, sponsored by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino. The first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive "Beat Vegas" Cap #1 (in a series of seven), so be sure to arrive early!
A post-game player party will be held at Boston's Pizza (4th & Milliken location) immediately following the match. Come out, meet your favorite Reign players, and enjoy 15% off of your bill (excluding alcohol) when you show your ticket stub from the match against Las Vegas.
The Reign are at home Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Thanksgiving weekend. The games will feature two "Beat Las Vegas" hat giveaways, one of which is a Corey Miller collector’s hat, compliments of San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino, as well as the team’s first teddy bear toss.
Tickets start at $10 and 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).