Goaltender Jack Campbell made 38 saves and forward T.J. Hensick scored twice to send the Ontario Reign over the Tucson Roadrunner 4-2 Sunday evening at Tucson Arena in Tucson, Arizona. The win opens a five-game road trip for the Reign.
A good start on the long, 13-day journey for the Reign. The two teams collide again on Tuesday at 6:05 PT at Tucson Arena.
ORI: Great way to start the road trip with a win against the top team in the Pacific Division. Impressed with the team defense against a speedy team as Tucson?
Head Coach Mike Stothers: Great, gutsy win against a very good and fast Tucson hockey team. We liked the way we responded after a demoralizing loss vs. San Diego at home before we left for this road trip. It showed the good character of our teams make up.
ORI: You must have been happy with the start. Two goals off the hop to quiet an anxious Tucson team and crowd on Teddy Bear Toss Night.
Stothers: It’s always nice to get a lead, but the focus was to play the full 60 minutes. We lagged a bit in the second period because we hung onto pucks too long or didn’t advance the puck deep enough behind their defense. That’s a quick team and they put a lot of pressure on us. Soupy (goalie Jack Campbell) was a wall for us and we weathered the storm.
ORI: The line of Luff, Sutter and Hensick have found a fun chemistry together lately. Four points across the three of them tonight (I give Sutter an assist for the screen on Hensick’s first goal). What has worked well for this group?
Stothers: It’s a line that has a little bit of everything. Henner (Hensick) supplies the speed, Luffer (Luff) the toughness and Sutts (Sutter) the silky hands of a play-maker. That line is a coach’s dream.