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Reign Lose, 9-4

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
VICTORIA, BC, Canada. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and AHL Manchester Monarchs, was defeated by the Victoria Salmon Kings Wednesday evening, before a crowd of 4,997 fans at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

The Salmon Kings got on the board first in the match. At 4:34 in the first period, center Adam Taylor beat Ontario netminder Jeff Zatkoff with assists from left wings Curtis Billsten and Darryl Lloyd. Victoria notched their second unanswered goal during a penalty kill at 16:45 when Adam Taylor scored second his point of the game. Taylor fired the puck over Zatkoff’s glove and into the top right corner of the net. Defenseman Matt Kelly and Curtis Billsten picked up the assists on the shorthanded goal. Neither team found the back of the net for the remainder of the opening period, so Victoria took their 2-0 into the second.

The Salmon Kings extended their lead with three more goals in the second period, all in a span of less than three minutes. The first was scored at 5:21 by right wing Sean O’Connor, off assists from defenseman Gary Gladue and Darryl Lloyd. At 6:23, Victoria found the back of the net again when defenseman Jordie Benn scored his first career professional goal. Center Chris St. Jacques and Sean O’Connor notched the assists. The fifth unanswered goal came at 8:06, and marked a hat trick for Adam Taylor. Taylor threw a bid on net that Zatkoff just couldn’t get in front of. Curtis Billsten claimed his third assist of the match, while defenseman Tim Wedderburn picked up the secondary assist.

Victoria wasn’t satisfied with their lead, and made the score 6-0 at 13:09. Right wing Wes Goldie buried the puck behind Zatkoff after getting a feed from right wing Dan Gendur. Defenseman Patrick Coulombe also picked up an assist on the play.

The Reign finally answered back with a goal at 16:28. Right wing Bud Holloway wristed a shot past Victoria goaltender Julien Ellis that slammed into the top shelf and sent a water bottle flying. Center Jon Francisco and right wing Jon Rheault registered the assists, and the Reign cut the Salmon Kings’ lead, 6-1, as the clubs headed into the final period of play.

During a Reign power play, right wing Brad Mehalko trimmed Victoria’s lead to four goals. Defenseman David Walker sent a feed over to Mehalko, who wound up and ripped a shot past Ellis from the face-off circle. Right wing Denny Johnston picked up the secondary assist.

Less than a minute later, Curtis Billsten had the opportunity to add another point to Victoria’s tally when he was awarded a penalty shot. Zatkoff made the save, and kept the score 6-2 in favor of the Salmon Kings. Billsten made up for his missed penalty shot at 5:44, when he assisted on defenseman Aaron Brockelhurst’s power play goal. Brocklehurst reclaimed a five goal lead for Victoria when his bid jetted past Zatkoff. Matt Kelly also picked up an assist on the goal, and his second point of the game.

At 8:19, the Salmon Kings found the back of the net again, and extended their lead, 8-2. Right wing Olivier Labelle knocked the puck into the back of the net, off assists from Aaron Brocklehurst and Dan Gendur.

Midway through the third period, David Walker snuck down from the right point and found himself all alone in front of the net. Bud Holloway snapped the puck over to the defenseman, who fired it past Ellis. Center Tim Kraus also picked up an assist, and the Reign put their third goal of the night on the board, and brought the score to 8-3.

Center Olivier Filion netted the Salmon Kings’ ninth goal of the match at 13:01. Filion lifted the puck past Zatkoff, with assists from Aaron Brocklehurst and Dan Gendur, and made the score 9-3.

Brad Mehalko picked up his second point of the game with ten seconds left to play in the match. Tim Kraus and defenseman Chad Starling assisted on the goal. Starling’s assist marked his 100th ECHL career point. Victoria went on to win the match with a final score of Salmon Kings 9, Reign 4.

Three stars:
1. VIC – A. Taylor
2. VIC – C. Billsten
3. VIC – J. Benn

• Jon Francisco is currently on a 3-game assist streak (5a) (3/7/09-3/11/09)
Bud Holloway is currently on a 3-game point streak (2g, 3a) (3/7/09-3/11/09)
• David Walker is currently on a 3-game assist streak (1g, 3a) (3/7/09-3/11/09)

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