11/24 REIGN FINAL – Reign 3, Barracuda 0 – Sturm, Rittich

David Rittich turned out all 32 shots that came his way to lead the Ontario Reign (10-4-1-1) to their third consecutive shutout victory Friday night by a score of 3-0 over the San Jose Barracuda (4-7-4) at Tech CU Arena. Rittich is now tied for the AHL league lead with three shutouts this season.

The Reign’s goal scoring came from Samuel Fagemo, who found the back of the net for the third straight contest and has recorded points in all five of his appearances this season, Alex Turcotte, who had also posted an assist, and TJ Tynan, who is tied with Turcotte for the club lead with 17 points. Ontario has now played 183 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal.


The Reign grabbed the lead in the first during their second power play of the game after Rittich started a breakout play. The netminder sprinted out of his crease to grab a loose puck and then sent it off the wall to Tynan, who saw it bounce high in the air and had to settle it down. It was then touched on by Turcotte before Akil Thomas sent a pass to his left where Fagemo was waiting with his stick in the air to blast a one-timer past goaltender Eetu Makiniemi to make it 1-0.

San Jose took three minor penalties in the opening period, but the Reign were only able to capitalize on one of their opportunities and took a one-goal lead into the first intermission after holding a 7-4 shots-on-goal advantage.

The Barracuda pushed back in the middle period, outshooting the Reign 15-8. Neither team was able to find the back of the net, however, and Ontario took its one-goal lead into the second intermission.

Turcotte gave the Reign some breathing room just 24 seconds into the third when he tipped home a shot by defender Brandt Clarke for his fourth goal of the season to make it a 2-0 game. With the first assist on the play, Clarke extended his current point streak to eight games, while Taylor Ward earned the second helper.

Ontario had an opportunity to put more distance between themselves and San Jose at 6:59 of the final period when two Barracuda skaters were both called for high-sticking on the same play, giving the Reign a two-minute 5-on-3 power play. Samuel Fagemo had the best look on the man-advantage but Makiniemi turned out the bid with his stick in a desperation effort to keep his team in the game.

Despite staying within two goals, San Jose was unable to solve Rittich and eventually pulled Makiniemi for an extra skater in the final three minutes of the contest. With 90 seconds remaining, Ward was able to break the puck out of Ontario’s end and continue control through traffic before passing to an open Tynan for an empty-net tally that made it 3-0.

Rittich improved his record to 6-3-2 in 11 appearances with Ontario and lowered his goals-against average to 2.38 on the year. Fagemo’s opening goal was the lone strike on special teams in the contest, with the Reign finishing 1-for-5 while holding San Jose to 0-for-2 on the man-advantage.

Postgame thoughts from head coach Marco Sturm and Rittich are below.

Marco Sturm

David Rittich

The Reign and Barracuda will conclude their back-to-back weekend series on Saturday afternoon at Tech CU Arena beginning at 2 p.m.

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