The Ontario Reign kicked off the week with a 4-1 defeat against the Colorado Eagles, in the first leg of a back-to-back set at Budweiser Events Center.
Ontario got a second-period tally from forward Sheldon Rempal, which tied the game at one, but conceded three goals in the final 5:36 of the middle stanza, as Colorado took a commanding three-goal lead into the third period. Following the trio of tallies against, goaltender Kevin Poulin took over between the pipes, and came on to stop all 12 shots against in the third period. Poulin is expected to get the nod in net tomorrow evening.
Ontario was unable to convert on six opportunities on the man advantage, as it got several shots from the perimeter but could not get a redirection or a rebound opportunity from close range to go. The Reign also surrendered a slew of shorthanded opportunities against, with Colorado having multiple odd-man rushes against while on the penalty kill.
The two teams will square off again in less than 24 hours, a massive rematch for the Reign. Ontario fell into fifth in the Pacific Division, tied on points with San Diego, following the Gulls’ 3-2 overtime defeat in San Jose. The two teams are each on 64 points, with San Diego holding two games in hand.
Mike Stothers on making the goaltending change when he did
You’ve got to try something. I don’t think Matty had too much help in front of him tonight, from certain individuals, so there’s only so many things you can do. The plan all along was Matty was going to play tonight, Poulin was going to play tomorrow, so we might as well get him some game action tonight, get him used to the business that Colorado creates in front of the net. A lot of traffic, a lot of movement, good tips. Anyways, that was the thought process and then Poulin went in and made some pretty big saves, so that’s a good thing.
On Poulin coming off the bench, and making those key saves
That is their job as the backup goalie, they’ve got to be ready to go in at a moment’s notice. You don’t get a warmup, you don’t get time, you’ve just got to be ready to go. Poulin’s an older guy, he’s been around for a while, he’s played in the NHL, so you would expect that. That is your job and that’s your role, to be ready any time you’re called upon.
On the Reign not getting to second opportunities tonight
I just didn’t think we were as good as we needed to be tonight to have any success in the game. We had some guys that I don’t feel were totally invested in doing what it takes to get the outcome we were looking for. We’re not good enough to have that, we need everybody in, we need 20 guys in. If you’ve got a few guys that aren’t, then the result is going to be what it was tonight.
On if he expects those that weren’t in tonight to bounce back tomorrow
Absolutely. Maybe they didn’t have it tonight, maybe it’s just one of those things that happens. I think, in the third, the work ethic was there, but that’s the way we need to play right from the start and all the way through. You get some chances, you need to make sure you find the back of the net. You get a couple of power plays, you’ve got to at least get some looks, you can’t get outshot. They’re getting chances shorthanded, and we’re not getting any chances on the advantage. We’ve got to be better and I know we will be.