ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and AHL Manchester Monarchs, were defeated by the Stockton Thunder, 3-2, in front of 4,200 fans at Citizen’s Business Bank Arena Friday evening. Right wings Jon Rheault and Geoff Walker both scored in the match for the Reign, and goaltender Jeff Zatkoff
stopped 26 of the 29 shots he faced. Friday’s game marked the fourth match-up between the two teams and the third at the Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Stockton found the net twice in the first period, with left wing Adam Huxley picking up both goals for the Thunder. Huxley netted the first goal on a Thunder power play at 9:14, then shortly after slipped a shorthanded goal past Reign netminder Jeff Zatkoff at 11:26 to give the Thunder a 2-0 lead heading into the second.
The Reign held strong in the second period, scoring their first goal of the night at 2:07 in the stanza. Reign right wing Jon Rheault took advantage of a five-on-three power play, firing the puck past Thunder goaltender Bryan Pitton. Rheault’s goal marked his fourth of the year, extending his goal streak to two games (2g, 1a). Defensemen P.J. Atherton and Andrew Martens registered the assists on the play, with Atherton picking up his first of the night and Martens extending his assist streak to two games (0g, 2a).
At the seven minute mark of the third period, Stockton right wing Stephane Goulet notched a goal, pushing the Thunder lead to two. In the final minute of the match, Reign right wing Geoff Walker lit the lamp, bringing the Reign within one goal. Walker tipped the puck past Pitton, off a shot from defenseman P.J. Atherton and a feeding pass from center Tim Kraus to notch his seventh goal of the season. Atherton’s assist on the goal tallied his second of the night and extended his point streak to two games (1g, 2a). With seconds remaining, the Reign pulled Zatkoff from the goal and swarmed the Thunder net on the attack, firing back to back shots on Pitton. Although the Reign outshot the Thunder 18-6 in the third, they were unable to tie up the game, ending the match with a final score, 3-2, in favor of the Thunder.