10/8 PRESEASON FINAL – Reign 6, Gulls 2 – Sturm, Laferriere

The Ontario Reign secured a preseason victory in impressive fashion Sunday night, defeating the San Diego Gulls by a final score of 6-2 at Toyota Arena. Forwards Alex Turcotte and Alex Laferriere each scored twice and added an assist in the contest, while defender Joe Hicketts posted a goal and an assist.

Goaltender Erik Portillo got the start in goal and stopped 20 shots to earn the victory for Ontario, who earned a win as their lone preseason result.


More from Head Coach Marco Sturm and Laferriere below.

The Reign got off to a hot start, scoring to take the lead just 1:22 into the first period when Turcotte used his backhand to redirect a centering feed by Mikhail Maltsev past goaltender Calle Clang to make it 1-0.

Midway through the first, things turned physical as two fights broke out in an eight-minute span. Jacob Doty and Travis Howe shed the mitts at 2:24, while Samuel Helenius and Nick Wolff dropped the gloves at 8:59.

Late in the opening frame, Laferriere gave Ontario its first multi-goal lead of the game, scoring on a deflection of a shot by Steven Santini. Turcotte picked up the second assist on the goal, which came at 17:29 and sent the Reign into the first intermission with a 2-0 edge on the scoreboard.

Ontario extended its advantage in the middle period, scoring three more times on San Diego goaltender Calle Clang.

Hicketts took a feed from Laferriere in the slot and then fired a shot to the twine for a goal in his first-ever appearance in a Reign sweater at 4:26 to make it 3-0.

Then Turcotte added on with his second strike of the night 59 seconds later, scoring during a delayed penalty by backhanding a bouncing puck into the goal from the side of the net. Assists on the strike were credited to Charles Hudon and Hicketts.

The Gulls got on the board at 10:58 of the second with a goal by Scott Harrington, who set up in front and quickly finished off the play on a pass from Nikita Nesterenko.

Laferriere made it 5-1 Ontario at 14:15, scoring for the second time on an individual effort play. The rookie forward stole the puck away from a Gulls skater near the top of the SD zone and then slid a low wrist shot past the right pad of Clang.

San Diego got one closer before the end of the period on a power play goal by Jaxson Wiebe, but were unable to solve Portillo for the rest of the game.

The Gulls replaced Clang in net prior to the third, bringing on Tomas Suchanek in relief. Suchanek finished his lone period with nine stops, while Clang at 15 saves in 40 minutes of action.

Francesco Pinelli finished out the scoring with a goal from Brandt Clarke and Jacob Moverare at 16:12 of the third.

San Diego’s power play goal was the lone man-advantage tally of the day, as the Gulls finished 1-for-5 while Ontario was 0-for-1.

The Reign begin the 2023-24 regular season on Friday night at Toyota Arena against the Gulls at 7 p.m. PST.

Marco Sturm
On today’s 6-2 preseason win

I think a little differently because, yes we’ll take the win and we did some good stuff, but if you compare this to our last few games [as the Kings] I think it was our worst game. It’s been a long training camp, much longer than usual. The guys have worked extremely hard every day and played well. They’ve had some really, really good games. Now we just have to recharge our batteries a little bit today and tomorrow, and then go back to work on Tuesday.

On Turcotte, Laferriere and Clarke entering the lineup
You could tell that they’ve made another big step over the summer. They look stronger and faster, so its nice to see them get rewarded. They worked so hard in the summer and now they’re coming back and getting rewarded. They also had some playing time with the Kings as well, so that’s really good for them.

On playing San Diego tonight and then again on Opening Night
They’re definitely going to come out differently in game one. We know that. Then, we’re going to play them a lot. There are always big games against them. Every day and every game is going to be hard so we just want to make sure that we’re on top of it.

Alex Laferriere

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