Reign game breakdown
Jonny Brodzinski scored 56 seconds into overtime and the Reign salvaged a 6-5 win over visiting Texas in their home opener. After building a 4-1 lead after the first period on goals by Zac Leslie, T.J. Hensick and Vincent LoVerde (2), the Reign saw their lead dissipate as they got into penalty trouble in the second. The Stars’ run-and-gun offense converted two power play goals in the middle frame and trailed 5-3 going into the third after a late rebound goal by Michael Mersch, his second of the season, provided a two-goal buffer. Ontario was outshot a lopsided 17-8 in the third and as the Stars pressed on goalie Jack Campbell, he surrendered two goals against his former team for regulation to end in a 5-5 tie.
Head coach Mike Stothers, on what more he wants to see from prospect Adrian Kempe: “There’s a comfort factor that he’s an experienced guy now. You get caught up in the rush, now we need to finish the rush. You can’t have everybody inching up out of their chair and then ‘Ughhh.’ Let’s take it a step further and jump out of our chair and go, ‘oh my god, what a play.’ And we’re stomping our feet and we’re taking the puck out to center because we scored. That’s what it’s all about. Bring everybody to the brink and then say, ‘aww,’ sit back down on your hands. Finish it.”
–T.J. Hensick — The Reign’s newest veteran was singled out by media and head coach Mike Stothers, receiving high praise for the play he’s bringing in this early season. His effectiveness on he power play has his team running at a 5-for-12 success rate through two games. In the first period of this one, he found a pinching Zac Leslie for the opening goal and redirected a heads-up shot-pass by LoVerde for his second of the season.
–Jonny Brodzinski — A season ago Brodzinski didn’t score until his 18th game in, so striking in his second one this time around will be a relief. His slap shot of a rolling puck in overtime at the top of the right circle closed the deal and afterwards Stothers had this to say about the forward: “… He has that ability that not a lot of guys have that it just takes one shot and it finds a way to go in. It’s so hard it goes through a goalie, it leaks through a goalie, or it finds a way in. At the end of the day he’s the overtime hero just because he’s a prolific goal scorer. Good for him.”
–Vincent LoVerde — The captain helped settled the Reign into their opener, having a two-goal, one assist performance. The addition of Hensick adds another layer of veteran presence that builds on what LoVerde already brings to the team and they heighten each other’s play when together on the ice.
Ontario took three minor penalties in the second period and it resulted in two goals in an 8-minute span by Andrew Bodnarchuk and Julius Honka to bring Texas right back in it. “Yeah, the stupid penalties we took,” Stothers said on what led to the momentum shift. “What’d we take? Slashing in front of our bench. They score. Take another one, holding, I don’t know what it was. Whatever it is. Are you kidding me? So there you go, let’s start right there with lesson learned.”
–1 – Leslie’s goal was the first of his pro career.
This and that off-ice
Dean Lombardi has been around Reign practices all week and was at the game as well.
The Reign go right back to work Saturday night as they host a fresh San Jose (0-1-0-0) team in a 6 p.m. start.