ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings, fell to the Stockton Thunder, 3-2, on Saturday evening in their second consecutive game. The Citizens Business Bank Arena saw 5,583 fans in the stands for the final match between the clubs this season.
The first period yielded no goals for either club, but Stockton was able to get on the board in the second frame. After center Chris D’Alvise fired off a shot that almost made it through traffic, a scramble ensued in front of the net and found Curtis Darling out of his crease and without a stick. Right wing James Bates took advantage of the empty net and snapped the puck over the red line to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead.
Left wing Matt Robinson found the gap between Darling’s stick side and the goal post, notching an unassisted goal at 1:03 into the final period and giving his club a 2-0 lead.
After being hooked at 9:07, Chris D’Alvise was awarded a penalty shot and added another goal to the Thunder’s column with a top-shelf shot over Darling.
After a 30-second timeout, the Reign pulled Curtis Darling from his crease for the extra skater during a power play, and the man advantage paid off. Defenseman Mike Egener finally put his club on the board with an assist from fellow blue-liner David Walker at 13:12.
The Reign came within one goal of the Thunder late in the third period with a goal from center Tim Kraus. Kraus fired off a wrist shot from the right face-off circle that sailed into the bottom left corner of the net. David Walker notched his second assist of the game and forward Michael Pelech claimed his first on the power play goal.
Ontario came close to scoring another goal and tying up the game during the final minute in regulation, but Stockton netminder Andrew Perugini held them off to give his club the win with a final score of Thunder 3, Reign 2.
Three stars: 1. STK – Matt Robinson 2. STK – Chris D’Alvise 3. ONT – Mike Egener