STOCKTON, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliates of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs, notched their first shutout of the season with a 4-0 win over the Stockton Thunder at Stockton Arena, in front of 8,174 fans, Saturday evening. Four different players lit the lamp for the Reign, and netminder John Murray blocked all 26 shots faced in the match, marking his second professional career shutout.
The Reign (12-8-1-1, 26 points) and the Thunder (8-10-1-2, 19 points) met for the fifth time this season, with the Reign controlling the match, handing the Thunder their first shutout loss of the season. Reign left wing Todd Jackson netted his fourth goal of the season and the Reign’s first of the night, putting the team on the board at 2:24. Jackson found the net off an assist from center Dusty Collins getting the puck past Thunder netminder Andrew Perugini to put the Reign up, 1-0. Nearly five minutes later, Collins got his chance to put the puck away as he netted goal number two for the Reign, his fifth of the season, with right wing Geoff Walker registering the assist on the play, sending match into the second with the Reign leading, 2-0.
Right wing Brad Mehalko put the Reign ahead of the Thunder, 3-0, at 4:26 in the second period. Mehalko slipped the puck past Perugini, netting his fourth goal of the season and the Reign’s only goal in the stanza. Defenseman David Walker and right wing Maxime Boisclair picked up the assists on the goal.
Heading into the final twenty minutes of the match, the Reign led the Thunder 3-0, outshooting Stockton 18 to 15. At 5:24 in the third period, right wing Geoff Walker took advantage of a 5-on-4 power play, as he lit the lamp putting the Reign ahead of the Thunder, 4-0. Defensemen Andrew Martens and P.J. Atherton registered the assists on the play, extending Atherton’s point streak to 3-games and Marten’s assist streak to 3-games. Walker’s goal marked his eighth of the season, fourth power play goal of the year, and extended his goal streak to 2-games. The teams battled in the final minutes of the match, with the Reign overpowering the Thunder, taking the victory with a final score, Reign 4, Thunder 0.
1. ONT – John Murray
2. ONT – David Walker
3. ONT – Dusty Collins