Today’s Bus Texts with Stothers comes after a win in San Jose in which Ontario managed to win, but played with fire in the process. As a result, their coach is a bit fired up.
Reign 3, San Jose 2
Using a 35-save performance by Jack Campbell and a strong, 5-for-6 showing from the penalty kill on Friday night, the Reign held on for a victory in a game which at spurts looked like they wanted to give away. The Pacific Division-leading Reign took a 2-0 lead during a mostly-even first period. Sam Herr opened the scoring at 9:39, redirecting a cross-ice pass from T.J. Hensick past Troy Grosenick for his fourth goal of the season. Sean Backman converted on the Reign’s first power play, burying a Zac Leslie pass as the defenseman curled around the back of the net to set up the veteran at the top of the crease. The second period was where the game got interesting. San Jose made it 2-1 at 8:54 of the middle frame with Nikita Jevpalovs beating Reign goalie Jack Campbell from the slot. When Vincent LoVerde took a slashing penalty the Reign appeared to be in trouble as San Jose worked the puck on the man advantage, but Justin Auger scored a timely shorthanded breakaway on a backhand-to-forehand move to extend the lead. Just as LoVerde exited the box, Kurtis MacDermid was sent off for slashing seven seconds later and as the Reign went back on the kill, Auger found himself on another breakaway but missed on nearly the same move. But late in the period Ontario was whistled for too many men and in the same play MacDermid was called for unsportsmanlike and the Barracuda scored 29 seconds into the 5-on-3 on a shot from the top of the point by Nikolay Goldobin. In all, Ontario was outshot 20-7 in the second period but held a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. That margin would stand in the third, but the Reign had to kill another minor for high-sticking by Daniel Ciampini. San Jose’s Barclay Goodrow’s tripping call late in regulation gave Ontario a late power play and the opportunity to eat time off the clock and ride out the win.
BUS TEXTS WITH STOTHERS
ORI: Feel like you guys escaped out of there with one, especially considering the way the second period went?
Stothers: Too many penalties, too may poor penalties, too many of the same guys killing penalties and too many guys sitting on the bench that don’t kill penalties. Same crap we dealt with at the start of the year. Not a fan of these poor decisions.
ORI: In turn a pretty good performance by the penalty kill and Campbell. Do you consider those positives in this one?
Stothers: Yes Campbell was good, and yes the PK was good, but that also means Jack saw too much rubber, and our regular penalty killers got too many minutes. Plus we have a game tomorrow at 6:00.
ORI: Leslie has four assists in his last four games and Auger is finding the scoresheet again. What have you liked about their games in 2017?
Stothers: Auger seems to be heating up again, he was a dominant force tonight. Leslie is playing with great composure and making plays. Both maturing into dependable contributors.