3/1 REIGN FINAL – Reign 3, Gulls 0 – Sturm, Dell, Tynan

Aaron Dell made saves on all 24 shots that came his way to earn his first shutout as a member of the Ontario Reign (27-19-3-3) in a 3-0 win over the San Diego Gulls (18-24-8-0) on Friday night at Toyota Arena.

Two of Ontario’s goals came on the power play during the second period on shots by Samuel Fagemo and TJ Tynan, while Charles Hudon earned assists on all three of the team’s tallies in the victory.


Fagemo broke through to open the scoring at 7:23 of the second and give Ontario the lead after an even first period which saw the Reign outshoot San Diego by an 8-7 total.

The opening tally came on a perfect passing play which saw all five skaters touch the puck before Hudon sent a cross-zone feed to Fagemo on the left side for a finish on a one-timer. Joe Hicketts was credited with the other assist on the opening goal.

Tynan gave Ontario insurance in the final minute of the middle frame, scoring his sixth goal of the season with just one second remaining on the Reign’s third man-advantage of the game. Tynan also converted a feed from Hudon at the side of the net, which came at 19:12 of the second.

The final goal of the contest was scored by Akil Thomas, who tapped home a feed by Hudon into a Gulls empty net at 17:31, which also included a second assist by Tyler Madden.

San Diego outshot the Reign 24-22 in the contest and got 19 saves from Clang in a losing effort. Ontario finished 2-for-5 on the power play and held the Gulls to an 0-for-3 mark on the man-advantage.

Postgame thoughts from Reign head coach Marco Sturm as well as Dell and Tynan are below.

Marco Sturm
On tonight’s shutout win over San Diego
It was a good 60-minute effort from everyone. It started with goaltender, then throughout the lineup and special teams too. I’m very happy with the game tonight. It’s nice to see the crowd too. I think that was the best crowd we’ve had all year. I also want to give San Diego credit. They’ve had a tough schedule recently and they came and played us hard, so we needed that full 60-minute effort to win this hockey game.

On the first power play goal when every player touched the puck
Those are always nice. We moved a few guys around but now I feel like game-to-game they’re getting more comfortable, especially Hudon. That’s usually Tynan’s spot. They did a great job today. We need them, that’s the bottom line. They were the difference tonight.

On Luke Rowe’s professional debut
He was great. He only had one practice with us so we didn’t really know him and I didn’t know what to expect to be honest, but he was great. I thought he was up the ice and that he played hard. He had good breakouts and good retrievals, so I was happy with his game tonight. We always get the scouting report but sometimes I want to see [new players] with my own eyes. You can tell he’s a very intense guy. We’ve already started calling him “Air Force One.” He’s dialed in. I think that’s something we needed in our lineup or in the room anyway.

On Aaron Dell’s second straight win and first shutout with the Reign
He’s getting better and better. I think he feels more comfortable and he’s in game shape. [Adam Brown] did a good job working with him the last few weeks and now both our goalies are dialed in right now. We’ve said lately that two goals against or less always gives you a good chance and he gave us another one tonight.

On the team’s confidence level right now
Winning always helps and it doesn’t matter which league or which team. The guys feel good and we had a lot of fun at the Reign Gala, but even this morning had a good energy. The guys were dialed in and focused but also had a good time this morning, and that carried over to tonight.

Aaron Dell
On his first shutout with the Reign
It’s exciting. It was a great game and those are the ones you have to win to be a great team. I think we’ve been building over the last few games and just getting better and better. I think that really showed tonight.

On the importance of winning at home down the stretch
It’s huge. These points add up and if you don’t get them now then you’re racing for them at the end and you’ve put yourself in a tough spot. It’s really important for us. Hopefully we can keep this streak going and keep building on the good things we’ve been doing. I think that will happen.

TJ Tynan


Ontario continues its current homestand on Sunday when they host the Abbotsford Canucks at 5 p.m. inside Toyota Arena.

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