ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings, defeated the Stockton Thunder, 8-2, before 5,269 fans on Friday evening at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
In their first game on home ice after a four-game road trip, the Reign lit up the scoreboard with six unanswered goals in the first and second periods. Right wings Geoff Walker and Mike Howe both scored their first goals of the season and the Reign set a team record with two shorthanded goals.
Forward Greg Hogeboom scored the first goal of what would be an eight point game for the Reign at 4:43 in the first period. Hogeboom shot the puck past Stockton netminder Andrew Perguini with assists from center Jon Francisco and defenseman Jon Landry.
Greg Hogeboom picked up his second point of the night with an assist on left wing Peter Lenes’ goal at 7:38. Hogeboom threw a shot towards the net that bounced off of Perugini’s pad and across the crease to Lenes, who jammed it over the goal line. Forward Michael Pelech also picked up an assist on the play.
Only 23 seconds later, the Reign put another goal on the board and forward Dwight King
claimed his fourth goal of the season. Geoff Walker grabbed his fourth point of the season with the assist, and Ontario took a 3-0 lead into the second period.
Two Reign players nabbed the first goals of the season in the second period. The first was Geoff Walker, who claimed an unassisted power play goal at 1:19. At 9:35, Mike Howe registered his first goal and third point of the season with a shot to the upper right corner of the net while the Reign was shorthanded. Jon Francisco notched his second assist of the game on the shorthanded goal that gave the Reign a 5-0 lead over the Thunder. Stockton pulled Perugini immediately following Howe’s goal and put Bryan Pitton between the pipes to finish out the match.
Defenseman David Walker scored his second goal of the season at 15:13, bringing him one point away from 100 in his professional career. Geoff Walker registered his third point of the game when he sent a feed over to David Walker, who sent a wrister past Pitton through the five-hole. Dwight King
scored his second point of the night with his assist on Ontario’s sixth unanswered goal.
With only one second remaining on the clock in the second period, defenseman Steve Vanoosten took a shot from neutral ice that went top-shelf on Zacharias, finally putting Stockton on the scoreboard. The clubs headed into the final period of play with the Reign leading the Thunder 6-1.
Michael Pelech and Mike Howe both recorded their second points of the game with Pelech’s goal at 5:20 in the third period. Pelech fired off a shot that hit the inside of the right post and crossed the red line. Center Robert Pearce picked up the secondary assist on the goal that put Ontario up 7-1.
Less than two minutes later, Thunder left wing Colton Yellow Horn got out on a breakaway with a feed ahead of the play from center Craig Valette. Yellow Horn’s bid beat Zacharias in the top-shelf and cut Ontario’s lead to five goals.
Peter Lenes grabbed his second goal of the night and the second shorthanded goal for the team at 10:14 in the third. His unassisted goal put the Reign up, 8-2.
Ontario went on to win the match with a final score of Reign 8, Thunder 2.
1. ONT – Peter Lenes
2. ONT – Geoff Walker
3. ONT – Mike Howe