Three-point nights for both Lias Andersson and TJ Tynan propelled the Ontario Reign (17-13-0-1) to a 6-3 win over the Henderson Silver Knights (12-22-0-3) on Wednesday night at the Dollar Loan Center.
The victory was Ontario’s first-ever winning decision in the building since it opened late in the 2021-22 season and the club tied its highest offensive output on the road this season to secure the result, backstopped by Cal Petersen who turned out 31 shots.
Andersson totaled two goals and an assist, while Tynan picked up three total helpers and both Samuel Fagemo (one goal, one assist) and Aidan Dudas (two assists) each recorded multi-point efforts.
More from head coach Marco Sturm and Andersson below.
Just 3:35 into the first, Alan Quine found Tyler Madden in the low slot with plenty of net to shoot at and Madden converted to put Ontario on top 1-0 early in the contest. It was the second straight game Quine connected with Madden for a strike and the third consecutive game that Madden found the back of the net. Fagemo brought the puck into the offensive zone and fed it to Quine near the goal line to secure the second assist on the play.
Less than two minutes later, Tobie Bisson drove to the net and banged home a loose puck in the crease off a feed by Dudas that had been blocked by a Henderson defender. Bisson’s second of the year pushed the lead to 2-0 just 5:01 into the game and also came with help from Martin Chromiak who created space through the neutral zone before dishing to his left for Dudas.
The Reign had a chance to extend the lead further on a shorthanded breakaway chance created by Austin Wagner, but his bid was stopped by Silver Knights’ goaltender Laurent Brossoit. Ontario took their two-goal edge into the first intermission after outshooting Henderson 10-6 during the first 20 minutes.
The Reign came back for the second and added a pair of power play goals from Fagemo and Andersson on their first two man-advantages of the night. Tynan got the play started with a feed down low from the right circle to Andersson on the goal line, who swung it over to the left dot where Fagemo had an easy finish waiting for him to secure his ninth goal of the season.
It was then Andersson who netted Ontario’s fourth goal of the night at 5:25 of the second on a net-front tip of a shot by Frederic Allard. Andersson’s team-leading 10th strike of the year also came with a second helper by Tynan.
Sandwiched in between the two Reign power play goals, Henderson got on the board with a man-advantage strike of their own when former Ontario skater Sheldon Rempal used a wrist shot to put the puck over Petersen’s left shoulder and into the net.
Each club committed two additional minor penalties before the end of the second period, but neither could add to what was a 4-1 score that favored Ontario before the second intermission.
The Silver Knights got back within two just after the puck dropped to begin the third on a goal by their leading scorer Gage Quinney that came 43 seconds into the final frame.
With a boost in momentum from Quinney’s goal, Henderson continued to push their way back into the game and made it 4-3 at 15:24 of the third on a goal by Byron Froese off a rebound in front of the net.
But the Silver Knights were unable to get any closer after Ontario went back up by two on an insurance goal by Wagner, who netted his sixth of the season from Dudas and Jacob Moverare off a rush up the left wing at 16:28.
Andersson added the final tally of the night with an empty-net goal from Tynan for his second strike of the evening at 18:16 of the third.
The Reign finished 3-for-7 on the man-advantage in the game, which saw a total of 15 minor penalties called between the two clubs. Henderson went 2-for-6 on the power play in a losing effort, with Brossoit stopping 24 shots in the contest.
On his team having a hot start and holding on in the third
It was a good start. I thought for 40 minutes we played really good hockey. The danger of being up two or three or four goals is that you kind of get sloppy sometimes and want to get the game over with and unfortunately that’s what we did in the third. We didn’t play our game and we just waiting and waiting and they came at us and then all of a sudden it got really tight, but it shouldn’t be that way. We’ve got to make sure we put them away after the second and play the right way in the third and don’t worry about it.
On the play of Cal Petersen to help hold on to the lead
Every game since he’s here, he’s been outstanding. It was almost unfair to put a situation like this and it shouldn’t be that way. He made some unbelievable saves. He played really solid. He gives us a chance every night to win a hockey game and he did it again today. The guys should be thankful to him that we won the game today.
On his team’s power play, which scored three times
We talked about it because (Henderson) has a good penalty kill. We knew it was going to be hard, but also like always, special teams has to be the difference and the power play found a way to score a few goals and that was a big difference.
On the play of Andersson, who had three points
In the last few games you could tell that he’s been feeling it a little bit. He can make a lot of good plays in tight little areas and in big moments and that’s what we need from him. He’s one of our best players and our best players have to be at their best every night. Especially in the last few here he’s been really dominant. I think as forwards, when you’re hot, you’re hot. You’ve got to ride that as long as you can.
Ontario will head to San Diego Friday night to begin a weekend home-and-home series with the Gulls at 7 p.m. that finishes on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. inside Toyota Arena.