1/5 REIGN FINAL – Reign 2, Barracuda 0 – Sturm, Thomas & Ward

Erik Portillo stopped all 25 shots he faced to record his second-career shutout and lead the Ontario Reign (17-10-3-1) to a 2-0 win over the San Jose Barracuda (11-15-4-0) on Friday night at Toyota Arena.

The Reign scored both of their goals via special teams in the second period, with Akil Thomas netting a power play goal and Taylor Ward recording the team’s second shorthanded goal of the year. Ontario also held their opponent scoreless on the power play for the fourth consecutive game.


The teams skated to a scoreless first period, with Ontario holding an 11-7 edge in shots on goal while earning the lone power play of the frame.

It took until 13:19 of the middle period for Thomas to finally break through, knocking home a loose puck in the crease for his ninth goal of the year during Ontario’s third power play of the contest. Assists on the strike went to both TJ Tynan and Jacob Moverare.

Ward added on with his third tally of the season in the final seconds of the second frame, scooping up the puck just inside the San Jose blue line and wristing it past goaltender Eetu Makiniemi to the top right corner of the net. Thomas recorded the lone assist on the second and final goal of the game, helping get the puck to Ward in space by applying pressure on the puck.

San Jose’s power play extended into the third, but they were unable to get the puck past Portillo. The Cuda had their third and final man-advantage at 6:27 of the frame when Tynan was whistled for tripping, but Ontario’s penalty kill did the job and kept themselves in front by two.

The third was Portillo’s busiest period, stopping 11 shots to keep San Jose off the board and record the clean slate.

Ontario finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Barracuda ended at 0-for-3 on the man-advantage. Makiniemi turned out 25 Reign shots for the visitors in a losing effort.

Marco Sturm

Akil Thomas & Taylor Ward

The two teams conclude their weekend series in Ontario on Saturday night at Toyota Arena, with puck drop scheduled for 6 p.m.

Rules for Blog Commenting

  • No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other comments, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • Please do not discuss, or post links to websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.

Repeated violations of the blog rules will result in site bans, commensurate with the nature and number of offenses.

Please flag any comments that violate the site rules for moderation. For immediate problems regarding problematic posts, please email zdooley@lakings.com.