STOCKTON, Calif. ? The Ontario Reign, proud affiliates of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs, defeated the Stockton Thunder, 4-2, in front of 4,017 fans Wednesday evening at Stockton Arena. Reign goaltender John Murray blocked 42 of 44 shots on the night, marking a club season high saves to help lead the Reign in the win.
In the third match-up between Ontario and Stockton this season, and the first match-up at Stockton Arena, the Reign notched one goal in each of the first two periods and two in the third, to take home victory. The Reign got on the board first as defenseman Dan Knapp scored his second goal of the season as he fired the puck past Stockton goaltender Andrew Perugini to put the Reign up 1-0. Right wings Jon Rheault and Maxime Boisclair registered the assists on the goal, marking their seventh and fourth assists on the season respectively.
Eleven minutes into the second period, Stockton found the net as center Cory Urquhart scored a power play goal to pull the Thunder even with the Reign at one apiece. Reign center Dusty Collins pushed the Reign back into the lead with his third goal of the year as he lit the lamp on a power play, flipping a backhanded shot past the glove of Andrew Perugini at 15:09. Center Todd Jackson and defenseman Andrew Martens were credited with the assists, sending the Reign into the third period leading the game, 2-1.
The Reign continued to pound the Thunder net as they scored two additional back-to-back goals to put the Reign ahead 4-1 in the third. Tim Kraus notched his fourth goal of the season and the first-ever club shorthanded goal, as he scored the eventual game winner 4:16 in the period. Center Jon Rheault tallied his second assist on the night and his eighth on the season with the helper on Kraus' goal. Newly acquired defenseman P.J. Atherton made his debut with the Reign in the match, netting his first club goal on a power play and his second of the season, off assists from Maxime Boisclair and Andrew Martens, their second each on the night. Stockton made a final attempt at a comeback, with Cory Urquhart netting his second goal of the night for the Thunder at 9:45 in the stanza, bringing the score to 4-2 in favor of Ontario.
The Reign were too much for the Thunder, backed by an outstanding performance from Reign goaltender John Murray, as the Reign held on and seized the victory, 4-2, holding the Thunder scoreless in the final minutes of play.
1. ONT ? John Murray
2. STK ? Cory Urquhart
3. ONT ? Dusty Collins
? John Murray?s 42 saves marks the clubs season high saves in a game, surpassing the previous record of 40 held by both Jeff Zatkoff and Murray
? Tim Kraus notched a +2 rating in the match-up, marking his season high +/- rating in one game