April 15: Reign 4, Gulls 2 + postgame notes/video

Ontario Reign 4, San Diego Gulls 2

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Box Score

SOG: ONT – 42; SD – 34
PP: ONT – 1/5; SD – 0/6

First Period
1) SD – Matt Bailey (6) (Brian McGrattan, Nick Ritchie), 19:47

Second Period
2) ONT – Jordan Samuels-Thomas (12) (Ryan Horvat, Kevin Raine), 4:29

Third Period
3) ONT – Kris Newbury (10) (Justin Auger, Jordan Samuels Thomas), 12:14
4) ONT SHG – Nic Dowd (14) (Michael Mersch), 16:10
5) ONT PPG – Michael Mersch (24) (Jeff Schultz), 16:47
6) SD – Mike Sgarbossa (17) (unassisted), 16:54

Ontario Reign (43-18-4-1, .689 win %) vs. San Diego Gulls (38-22-4-2, .621)
Friday, April 15, 2016, 7 p.m. PT
Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, CA
Referee: #48 Garrett Rank, #42 Jake Brenk
Linesmen: #20 Anthony Falette, #85 Steve Walsh
AHL Live, Mixlr Radio

ONT starters: G Peter Budaj, D Vincent LoVerde, D Kurtis MacDermid, LW Adrian Kempe, C Nic Dowd, RW Sean Backman
ONT scratches: D Zach Leslie, F Paul Bissonnette, F Sam Herr, D Damir Sharipzyanov, F Matt Schmalz, G Jack Flinn

SD starters: G Anton Khudobin, D Brian Cooper, D Brandon Montour, LW Kevin Roy, C Mike Sgarbossa, RW Ondrej Kase
SD scratches: F Chris Mueller, D Martin Gernat, D Shane O’Brien, F Harry Zolnierczyk, F Corey Tropp, D Jaycob Megna, C Antoine Langaniere, F Tim Jackman, F Tyler Morley, F Deven Sideroff, G Dustin Tokarski


–With the win the Reign (44-18-4-1, .694 winning percentage) secured the top seed in the Western Conference, good for home ice throughout the Western route of the Calder Cup playoffs beginning next week. With one game to play, Saturday at San Diego, Friday’s victory gave them the mathematical edge over top Central team Milwaukee (48-22-3-2, .673), which also has one game left.

–With his third period goal, Kris Newbury extended his point streak to five games (3 G, 4 A).

–Nic Dowd scored in his return to the lineup after his recent call-up with the Kings. His goal was his 14th of the season and the team’s 7th shorthanded goal.

–Captain Vincent LoVerde returned to the lineup after missing the past 11 games due to a cracked trachea. He started the game and played alongside usual defensive partner Kurtis MacDermid.

–The Reign improved to 4-5-1-1 against the Gulls, who remain the only team to have a winning record against Ontario this season.

–Goalie Peter Budaj picked up his league-leading 42nd win with 32 saves.

Video recap

–Peter Budaj stops Ondrej Kase on a breakaway after a Ryan Horvat giveaway at the far blue line (videos courtesy of Sheng Peng):

–The Gulls go up 1-0 with just 22.5 seconds left in the first period as Matt Bailey buries the rebound of a long Brian McGrattan shot:

–Ontario answers in the second period, shortly after a power play attempt expires, on a redirect by Jordan Samuels-Thomas of a Horvat shot at 4:29:

–Justin Auger finds Kris Newbury in the slot in the third period as the Reign take the lead for the first time in the game:

–Nic Dowd scores shorthanded late for a momentum-swinging goal after a tough forecheck by Michael Mersch:

–Just 37 seconds later Mersch connects on the power play off a faceoff to put the Reign up 4-1:

–And then 7 seconds after the Mersch goal, the Gulls’ Mike Sgarbossa breaks free off the center ice faceoff to beat Peter Budaj. It would be the game’s last goal despite the Gulls’ last-ditch efforts with goalie Anton Khudobin pulled:

Also …

–The Kings recalled defenseman Kevin Gravel on Friday afternoon. He did not play tonight.

–The Ducks sent forward Nick Ritchie back to the Gulls on Friday prior to Game 1 of their playoff series with Nashville.

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