FINAL – San Diego 6, Ontario 1

The Ontario Reign fell for the third time in three games, as they dropped a 6-1 decision in San Diego to cap off a three-game week.

The Reign got an early goal, which came from forward Martin Frk on a penalty shot, but were unable to beat Kevin Boyle during the run of play, despite throwing 43 shots on goal over the course of the game.

The Gulls scored twice in each period, as they were the more clinical team in capitalizing on their opportunities, while Ontario, despite having more chances, couldn’t convert more than Frk’s penalty shot 1:27 into the game. Mikey Eyssimont had six shots on goal, including some Grade-A chances, while three Reign defensemen (Paul LaDue, Mikey Anderson and Austin Strand) each had at least four shots on goal.

Ontario will regroup next week, in the first non-holiday week without a midweek game since late-November. The Reign are back in action with three divisional games in four days, all on home ice, beginning on Friday against Stockton.

Brett Sutter on what he felt went wrong tonight
I thought we played better, again that’s not enough right now. These last two games were playoff games for us and we didn’t find a way to win. We’re giving up too many goals and we’re not capitalizing on important chances to swing the momentum for us. It starts with us older guys, we’ve got to set the tone in the room and we can all be better, that’s for sure.

On correcting individual, or situational mistakes
This league is learning every day. We’ve got a lot of moving parts, a lot of young guys, there’s a lot of teaching involved and we can get better as a team, but that’s partially due to pushing each other, and expecting more out of each other. Like I said, I thought we were better tonight, controlling the play, creating chances, we had a good amount of shots, but we’ve got to start finding ways to capitalize and create momentum for us.

On finding positives to take away from this weekend, despite the two losses
I think you’re always looking for positives. Right now, I think it’s good for us to be pissed off about the loss. We’re in a bit of a hole right now, and we’ve got to put a good week of work in here and we’ve got to come hungry and, like I said, motivated and ready to push each other, because it’s going to be a hard push and a good push down the stretch here.

Mike Stothers on another game with 40+ shots, but situational breakdowns winding up in the back of the net
We had some turnovers that they capitalized on. Let’s just say that the opportunities that [the Gulls] did have, they took full advantage of and they scored. We had some chances and we didn’t.

On clinical finishing by San Diego and not being able to able to give up those chances here
Well, we can’t give them up to anybody. It’s pro hockey, you can’t, but the other side of it is we’ve got to bear down and find a way to score some goals ourselves. We had numerous good chances, and numerous good looks, and we didn’t. If you’re not getting chances that’s one thing, but when you are, you’ve got to find the back of the net.

On how to make corrections, and finish more of those opportunities
Some guys are just naturals, like Frkster – he gets a penalty shot, he scores. That’s what he does. Other guys, that are wanting more minutes, wanting to play in certain situations, they’ve got to find a way to do it. We’ll preach on it in practice, hit the net, stop in front, look for rebounds, go to the dirty areas. Just keep preaching the same thing, and hopefully sooner or later it will sink in.

On if, over time, eventually goals will start to come if the volume of chances is there
Well, you would think so. You also think that about the Powerball. You buy 50 tickets and you think you’re going to win, so then if you buy 70 tickets, you think you’re going to win. One of these days we’re going to win a Powerball, the puck’s going to go in.

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