REIGN FINAL – Reign 4, Gulls 3 (OT) – Sturm, Chromiak

Martin Chromiak netted the game-winning goal in overtime to cap off a late third period comeback and give the Ontario Reign (28-17-2-1) a 4-3 win over the San Diego Gulls (14-35-0-0) on Saturday night at Pechanga Arena. With the victory, Ontario finished a perfect 4-0-0 in their four contests in San Diego during the 2022-23 regular season.

Chromiak’s winner was his second goal of the game, while Lias Andersson also scored two goals for the Reign in the victory and continues to lead the team with 23 tallies on the year. TJ Tynan assisted on three of Ontario’s four goals to hit the 60-point mark for the season in the win.


More from head coach Marco Sturm and Chromiak below.

Chromiak is now up to 12 goals on the season and five tallies in five appearances against the Gulls during his rookie year. Matt Villalta earned the win in net for Ontario, stopping 27 shots to pick up his 10th victory of the season.

Rocco Grimaldi led the way for San Diego in a losing effort, scoring three times to become the second player this season to register a hat trick against Ontario.

The Reign took the lead first when Chromiak converted on a breakaway chance at 9:13 of the opening period, outwaiting goaltender Gage Alexander and using his backhand to flip the puck into the net. Jack Becker earned the lone assist on the play, recording his first career AHL point in his third game with Ontario.

San Diego evened the score at 1-1 on Grimaldi’s first goal of the night, which came off a deflection at the side of the net off a pass by Michael Del Zotto at 15:12.

During a power play in the final minute of the first, Andersson tipped home a feed by Tyler Madden that glanced off the right post and in to put Ontario back in front 2-1. Tynan picked up the second assist on the play, his first helper of the contest.

While the Reign successfully killed off three minor penalties during the second, Grimaldi deflected home his second of the night at 14:17 of the middle period to even the score at 2-2. With the help of the three man-advantages, the Gulls outshot Ontario 14-3 in the middle period.

Grimaldi then completed the hat trick to put San Diego in front for the first time with his third goal of the game at 9:56 of the third to make it 3-2.

With time running low in the third, Tynan tossed a shot on goal from the right wing during an offensive zone rush. The rebound was kicked right out to Andersson, who tied the game at 3-3 with 3:28 left on the clock and eventually forced overtime.

Chromiak was denied on his second breakaway of the night at the two-minute mark of the extra period, but didn’t miss on his second chance during his next shift. The rookie ducked under a defender on the left wing and wired a wrist shot into the top right corner of the net to give the Reign their 28th win of the season.

Ontario had the only power play goal of the night, Andersson’s first of the game late in the opening period, finishing 1-for-2 on the man-advantage and holding San Diego 0-for-3 on their opportunities. The Gulls controlled a 30-20 shots on goal edge in the contest, which saw Alexander stop 16 shots in his second AHL start during a losing effort.

Marco Sturm
On his team’s play in a game where they found a way to win
Yeah, we did. But it was not our best game today. We played a really good game last night and it cost us lots of energy and you could tell today but still, those are the games you’ve got to grind out and you’ve still got to perform and you’ve got to be sharp. It doesn’t matter who you play against. We should have been better than that today, but we’re definitely going to take the two points.

On if there is a growing sense of confidence on his team if the game goes to OT
Yeah, but today it felt a little different because it felt like the guys were tired. But you still again, you have to find a way to produce and if it’s not on the ice, maybe it’s on the bench with different things, but it was a quiet evening for us as a unit on the ice and off the ice and again, for no reason. Those are the games when you have to push yourself and that’s something we have to learn for sure.

On the play of TJ Tynan, giving all of his energy late in the game
It’s very easy to see, this guy plays his heart out every night and you can see him after every game, he’s exhausted. And you know what, he’s going to do it again tomorrow. So that’s amazing, but that’s why he’s one of the best or the best player in the league and we’re happy to have it and it’s also hopefully good for our young kids too. And for the rest of the team to see a guy like, like him, plays with a passion as well and, and we can all learn from him, that’s for sure.

On the play of Jack Becker, who returned from injury with a big game
He was he was outstanding. I mean, guys root for him, guys got him the puck after the game. He’s a good kid, he’s very, very excited to be around and you can tell.  He works, and he played a awesome game, a great game from him. That’s what we need and that’s all I’m asking for. As a coach. that’s all what you ask for, to give us good minutes. Good, hard minutes and he never really got in trouble once so good for him.


Martin Chromiak

The Reign are back in action on Monday for a Presidents’ Day matinee in Palm Desert against the Coachella Valley Firebirds. Puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Acrisure Arena.

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