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Reign Fry Salmon Kings, 5-2

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and AHL Manchester Monarchs, defeated the Victoria Salmon Kings, 5-2, Monday evening before a crowd of 4,876 fans at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Reign rookie Geoff Walker picked up his first professional career hat trick.

Ontario scored first in the match, at 10:28 in the first period. Right wing Geoff Walker fired a shot on goal that hit the inside of the left post and bounced into the net past Victoria goaltender Julien Ellis. Center Tim Kraus and defenseman Dan Knapp registered assists on the play. The Salmon Kings were unable to get on the board for the rest of the period, and the Reign took their 1-0 lead into the second.

The Reign scored their second unanswered goal just over three minutes into the second period. Geoff Walker picked up his second goal of the game when he spun out of the face-off circle and wristed a shot into the open left side of the net. Tim Kraus picked up the assist and his second point of the game.

Right wing Jon Rheault extended the Reign’s lead to three at 6:59. Defenseman Andrew Martens received a pass from right wing Bud Holloway at the top of the left face-off circle and launched a slapshot at the net. Rheault was ready in the corner of the crease and stuffed the puck between Ellis’ pads and the post.

During a power play at 12:35, defenseman P.J. Atherton made the score 4-0 with his slapshot that beat Ellis on his glove side. Forward Dale Reinhardt registered the assist on the power play goal.

Immediately after the face-off at center ice, Chris Curran and right wing Brady Leavold dropped the gloves. Both wingers landed several hooks to the head of the other before falling to the ice and heading the boxes.

Less than a minute after Atherton’s power play goal, the Reign put up their fifth unanswered goal to extend their lead to five. Defenseman Chad Starling ripped a slapshot from the top of the left face-off circle that was redirected into the net by Geoff Walker. Walker scored his first professional career hat trick on the goal. Ontario carried their 5-0 lead into the final period of play.

Victoria ended the Reign’s scoring run with a goal from right wing Dan Gendur that beat Briggs high on his glove side. The goal at 8:27 cut the Reign’s lead to four.

The Salmon Kings scored their second unanswered goal of the match at 16:54. Right wing Curtis Billsten threw a puck at Briggs, but his bid bounced back out into the play. Left wing Scott Howes grabbed the loose puck and buried it behind Briggs in the right corner of the net. The goals came too little too late for Victoria, however, and the Reign clinched the win with a final score of Reign 5, Salmon Kings 2.

Three stars:
1. ONT - G. Walker
2. ONT - K. Briggs
3. ONT - C. Curran

Notes:
• Geoff Walker recorded his first professional career hat trick and first hat trick in club history
Bud Holloway extended his point streak to 4-games (2g, 2a) (2/18/09-2/23/09)
• Tim Kraus is currently on a 2-game point streak (1g, 2a) (2/22/09-2/23/09)
• Dan Knapp is currently on a 2-game assist streak (2a) (2/22/09-2/23/09)
• Dale Reinhardt is currently on a 2-game point streak (1g, 1a) (2/22/09-2/23/09)
• The Reign set a club record for most shots in a single game with 52

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