FINAL - Stockton 4, Ontario 3 (SO) - LA Kings Insider

The Ontario Reign finished off the week on somewhat of a higher note than their two previous contests, but fell short for the third time in five days, this in a 4-3 shootout loss against the Stockton Heat on Sunday afternoon on home ice.

The Reign held leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, but a late game-tying goal from forward Curtis Lazar forced overtime, before Stockton’s Tyler Graovac scored the lone goal in the shootout to earn the extra point.

Ontario’s special teams accounted for all three goals for the hosts, as the Reign tallied once on the power play and twice while shorthanded to account for their three goals. The shorthanded tallies were the eighth and ninth of the season for the Reign, while after the two conceded, Stockton has allowed a Western-Conference leading 17 shorthanded goals against on the season.

Both teams had their opportunities, with seven power plays aside, that led to what was maybe a choppy, yet still entertaining contest. Ontario finished with 39 shots on goal, while Stockton had 47, with Peter Budaj posting another strong effort between the pipes with 43 saves. Since the AHL All-Star break in late January, Budaj has been one of the AHL’s top goaltenders with a .928 save percentage and a 2.49 goals against average.

Offensively, the Reign got a multi-point night from Sam Herr, his first of the season and the second of his professional career, with Herr and forward Matt Luff netting the shorthanded tallies. Forward Mason Bergh also found the back of the net as he scored his first career professional goal, the game-opening tally, which came on the man advantage. Bergh was one of three players to make his professional debut this week with the Reign, joining defenseman Max Gottlieb (this afternoon) and forward Brett Supinski (Friday in San Jose, home debut today).

Stockton scored a pair of power-play goals and accounted for the game’s only even-strength goal, an Adam Ollas Mattsson tally in the third period. The Heat were led offensively by forward Matthew Phillips, who posted a goal and an assist in the victory, which moved Stockton 10 points clear of Ontario in the division standings.

The Reign now look ahead into their final two weeks of the season, beginning on Wednesday against Grand Rapids at 7 PM at home, the lone California meeting of the season between the two teams. Ontario has six games remaining, three apiece at home and on the road.

Post-Game Quotes

Mike Stothers on getting two shorthanded goals, and whether Stockton leading the conference in shorthanded goals allowed factored into the gameplan
Well, they score shorthanded goals, right? I guess they give up shorthanded goals too, I don’t know, sometimes it works out that way. We talk about a lot of things before the game, I don’t know if we spent an overly long amount of time talking about that. We were just trying to find a way to get ourselves a win and I thought we played much better than we did in the two previous games on the most recent road trip. I was happy with the effort and I was happy with the game, just not happy with the outcome.

On working younger players into the lineup this afternoon and the desire to get a look at them in game play
There’s lots of different ways of looking at it, but these kids came in and, to truly evaluate them, you’ve got to see them in game condition. It’s just hard to get a true reading on anybody when they just come out for practice. If you watch guys in some of the summer hockey, or practices, you think they’re lights out or can’t miss prospects. Then the pucks drops during the game and they can’t think the game. That’s where you’ve got to try and get them in the lineup, at least get a look. Now, that’s not very fair to gauge anybody after one game either, but it gives you a little bit more of a base.

On working younger players into the lineup this afternoon and the desire to get a look at them in game play
There’s lots of different ways of looking at it, but these kids came in and, to truly evaluate them, you’ve got to see them in game condition. It’s just hard to get a true reading on anybody when they just come out for practice. If you watch guys in some of the summer hockey, or practices , you think they’re lights out or can’t miss prospects. Then the pucks drops during the game and they can’t think the game. That’s where you’ve got to try and get them in the lineup, at least get a look. Now, that’s not very fair to gauge anybody after one game either, but it gives you a little bit more of a base.

On how Mason Bergh handled his role in his pro debut, and playing him alongside Moulson and Sutter, plus on the power play
We gave him two pretty good seasoned veterans to play with, so I’m sure he was thrilled with that. To be honest with you, three lines got power play time tonight, so basically whoever was up next was hopping over the boards. It worked out good. I was excited to see him score. Obviously, he was too, he had a pretty good little celly there. It was cool.

On Peter Budaj’s performance tonight and his overall presence in net
He’s had some darn good games for us this year. The numbers don’t reflect that, but that’s why I’m not an accountant or an analytics guy, I’m not a big numbers guy. The only numbers I want to know are wins, which should far outweigh your losses, and goalies that just get the job done and Buuds is a total professional, a great veteran guy to have. I was happy for him, especially in his rink. He had a real good go for us the one year and I know he likes playing here, the fans like seeing him play in front of them. It was good.

Kurtis MacDermid

#56 | 6′ 5″ | 233 lb | Age: 23

Born: March 25, 1994
Birthplace: Sauble Beach, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

MacDermid was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on Sept. 12, 2012.
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Michael Amadio

#52 | 6′ 1″ | 204 lb | Age: 21

Born: May 13, 1996
Birthplace: Sault Ste. Marie, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Amadio was selected by the Kings in the third round (90th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
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Alex Lintuniemi

#10 | 6′ 3″ | 214 lb | Age: 21

Born: DOB: 9/23/1995
Birthplace: HELSINKI, FINLAND
Position: D

Bio

Lintuniemi played in 27 games for the HIFK U18 team in Helsinki at 15-years-old, as well as seven games with the Finland U16 team. He made his professional hockey debut with the Monarchs in 2015, and has since begun playing for the Reign.
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Brett Sutter

#07 | 6′ 0″ | 192 lb | Age: 29

Born: 6/2/1987
Birthplace: CALGARY, AB
Position: C

Bio

Drafted in 2005 by the Calgary Flames, Sutter was traded to the Reign in 2016. He is the son of LA Kings head couch Darryl Sutter, and the eighth member of the Sutter family to play in the NHL.
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