Andre Lee triggered the Teddy Bear Toss with the first goal of the game early in the third and Cal Petersen stopped all 19 shots he faced as the Ontario Reign (15-7-0-1) earned a victory over the Bakersfield Condors (9-14-1-0) on Saturday night at Toyota Arena.
Samuel Fagemo added to the lead in the final minute, posting an empty-net goal for his seventh tally of the season. With their third straight win, Ontario maintained their spot in a tie for third place in the Pacific Division standings.
More from head coach Marco Sturm, Lee and Petersen below.
Ontario was able to control the flow of the game in the first two periods but didn’t put anything on the scoreboard to show for their effort. The Reign outshot Bakersfield 12-7 in the first frame, but couldn’t capitalize on a power play opportunity late in the frame in which they had a long run of possession in the offensive end.
The shots in the middle period were even at 8-8 and once again neither club was able to find the back of the net. Bakersfield had the best chance in the period when Dino Kambeitz found himself alone on a breakaway, but Petersen denied the opportunity with his blocker to keep the game scoreless.
Lee broke through at 2:27 of the third with his second goal in as many weeks, using a wrist shot from the right circle to beat goaltender Olivier Rodrigue and begin the annual Teddy Bear Toss. Assists on his strike went to Aidan Dudas and Tobie Bisson.
After the cleanup was finished, Ontario clamped down defensively to keep themselves in front. In total, the Reign allowed only four shots on goal in the final 20 minutes.
Fagemo’s insurance marker extended the lead with 55 seconds left on the clock and came with assists by Lias Andersson and Taylor Ward.
Neither team was able to convert on the power play, with the Reign killing off all three Condors’ man-advantages while Ontario ended at 0-for-6 on the night. Rodrigue turned aside 23 shots for Bakersfield in a losing effort.
On tonight’s win
I think it was just a good team effort. It was a solid game from start to finish, starting with our goalie, all the good breakouts, and the forwards who did their job. It was a good one, even in the third. We only had a 1-0 lead but it was pretty calm on the bench and we felt good.
On the Teddy Bear Toss and keeping the team focused after the delay
The other night [in Tucson] I had the first taste of it and again today. It’s a good cause and it’s always nice to see a lot of teddy bears on the ice. It’s definitely different. We had just scored, we felt pretty good, and it’s good momentum and then all of a sudden there’s a 20-minute break. It’s all different, but we’ll take it. The guys did an excellent job [staying focused] today and the other day. The guys are more used to it than me. Sometimes a team takes advantage, some teams don’t, but I thought we stayed focused tonight.
On Andre Lee’s progression this season
Sometimes it’s not easy for the whole line when they don’t really have a rhythm with a lot of special teams, but I give him credit, especially this weekend. I think he’s come a long way, starting with the rookie tournament. Now he plays like a man, not like a kid, so it’s nice to see. He’s willing to learn and he’s going to get better.
On last night’s late postponement and bussing to Ontario
It’s been a long day, I’m not going to lie. I’ve never seen anything like yesterday. It was an interesting 48 hours. I was not worried, but a little concerned about tonight’s game. Both teams had to deal with it. It was a long day bussing to Bakersfield, bussing back, and then just hanging around all day today. I was very happy with the effort today and how the guys handled the last 48 hours.
On tonight’s shutout victory
It was awesome. It was a team shutout. We kept a lot of volume shooting down and limited their chances. It’s a huge reflection of how well the team played tonight.
On being a goalie during the Teddy Bear Toss
I’m always just hoping that it’s not with like a minute to go in the game or in the period or something like that because then it just delays things a bit. When it happens it happens. It’s just one of those things, but it’s really cool. Thanks to the fans because we had a great crowd tonight. It’s exciting that the Teddy Bear Toss brings them in.
On his time with the Reign
It’s been a great transition. The guys have really brought me in. It’s an awesome group of guys. I’m really buying into the system that we have here. Yesterday was kind of a funny experience to have happen and it’s one for the memory books, but its been awesome here. The guys have been awesome and I’ve been very happy here.
The Reign depart for a two-game trip to Calgary for their first-ever meetings against the Wranglers this week beginning on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. PT inside Scotiabank Saddledome.