A point is a point and the Ontario Reign picked up another one on Saturday evening in their second straight defeat that ran more than 60 minutes, this a 6-5 shootout loss against the San Diego Gulls. From their back-to-back set this weekend, Ontario collected two of a possible four points in an unconventional way and has now earned a point in three consecutive games. Tonight’s crowd was the second straight at 8,000+, with 8,795 fans in attendance for the season’s first edition of the So-Cal Series.
Forward Sheldon Rempal impressed for the second straight night as he collected a goal and an assist for Ontario. Rempal was one of five Reign players with multiple points on the evening, including forwards Mikey Eyssimont and Matt Moulson, who each had a goal and an assist in the victory. Defenseman Kurtis MacDermid and forward Brad Morrison also found the back of the net for Ontario, with Morrison’s goal the first of his professional career.
San Diego was paced offensively by defenseman Andy Welinski, who collected two goals and an assist from the blueline. Forward Chase De Leo had two assists in the victory and scored the game-winning tally in the shootout. Goaltender Jared Coreau made 38 saves to earn the victory as Ontario amassed a season-high 43 shots on goal.
Ontario’s power-play unit fond the back of the net for the fourth straight game as it went 1-of-5 on the evening. The Reign are now converting at a 23.5% clip on the season, the third highest percentage in the Pacific Division through two weekends.
The Reign are back on the ice on Monday and Tuesday for practice before they conclude a three-game homestand on Wednesday evening against the Central Division’s Milwaukee Admirals. Puck drops at 7 PM at the CBBA.
On his goal tonight
I think Bricks, he was shooting it all night and Sutts was in front of the net all night and he tipped it, I believe. I had a chance to bury it right away but it got away from me and I just brought it around the net and was able to get a wrap around.
On whether this weekend’s overtime losses were two points earned or two points lost
We want every point so it’s two points lost. We can’t use the excuse that we’re a young team or that it’s early in the year for long and these points are huge. Our veteran group and our coaching staff aren’t going to settle for anything other than every point.
On the high-scoring nature of the past few games, which contrasts past editions of the Reign
I think the focus of a lot of the preseason games was offense and scoring goals and that’s something we’ve been good at, but this week, we’re going to work a lot on the d-zone in our upcoming practices here before our next game and figure that side of the puck out.
On the parts of his game he’s looking to improve on this season
I’d say something I’ve really focused on in the preseason and the rookie tournament in Vegas is having a good stick on the forecheck. When you’re an F1, I want to get in there and get my stick in there and finish my check. I think that’s something I’ve improved at but overall, forechecking and d-zone play are two specific areas.
On his overall thoughts on the game
There’s a lot of goals being scored – On one side of it, I like the fact that we’re scoring some goals, but we’ve got to try and prevent one or two. Again, I look at it as a night where we had to battle through some adversity, we had some injuries that we picked up last night to Mitchell, who’s a veteran guy, and Matt Luff, who’s coming off a great rookie season, so that was a little bit tough. The guys, they dealt with it, they moved on. We had some situations happen during the game, there was trouble maybe but we battled back. We fell behind and we kept battling and got a valuable point. Overall, these two games, I’m pretty happy with this group. I think there’s something there, there’s a whole lot to work with, which I’m happy about and they’re good, their attitude is good. I think, for where we are this weekend, going forward this week in preparation for Wednesday’s game, I can’t wait.
On giving up a goal twice tonight on the shift following a goal scored
Well, there’s a long laundry list of things to correct but it’s not going to be done overnight. We’ll get back to work on Monday, we’ve got practice Monday, Tuesday, play Wednesday and hopefully correct a few things. If you look at the other side, the two teams we played, their coaches are saying the same thing, that’s just the nature of the game.
On a timetable on injuries to Mitchell & Luff
It’s a little too early to tell. They just both happened last night so it’s kind of a weird morning when you’re right back at it and you play at six [PM]. We’ll see how they feel. I don’t think either one of them will be long term to be honest with you, but I certainly don’t want to speculate or overstep my boundaries. We’ve got some good, quality doctors, we’ve got good athletic therapists, trainers to look after things, so we’ll know more on Monday.