Ontario, CA – Netminder Jack Campbell made 29 saves including 17 in the final frame, but it was not enough as the Ontario Reign (26-13-8-0) could not score despite three power plays, falling 2-0 to the San Jose Barracuda (30-11-1-3), on Saturday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
With the win, San Jose extends its winning streak to a season-high 11 games. Goaltender Troy Grosenick recorded his AHL-leading seventh shutout of the season.
“It’s hard to win games when you’re not scoring first of all, said forward Brett Sutter following the game. “We didn’t generate … but Soupy [Campbell] kept us in the game.”
San Jose set the pace early in the opening period and got their first goal of the night when forward Buddy Robinson dished the puck to forward Adam Helewka and deked around Campbell to score at 9:14. Ontario struggled offensively, mustering just five shots on goal in the first twenty minutes.
Head Coach Mike Stothers felt the Barracuda exposed the team’s lack of speed. “It’s all about momentum,” commented Stothers after the game. “We got to capitalize on some of those power plays when we have them too.”
Ontario started the middle frame strong, tacking on six shots within first seven minutes of period. However, the Barracuda came powering back midway through the period when forward John McCarthy tipped in a Joakim Ryan shot past Campbell to make it 2-0. The Reign had trouble regaining momentum of the game after that.
“We were chasing the puck way too much tonight. They had they puck a lot more than we did and it’s tough to win hockey games when you’re chasing, and we did a lot of chasing tonight,” said forward Sean Backman.
In the third, Ontario was tested time and again but it was still Campbell who made the bigger saves, using his stick to smack pucks out of the air and keeping Barracuda from strengthening their lead. On the defensive end, the Reign’s biggest penalty kill of the night came after defenseman Zach Leslie was handed a double minor for spearing at 9:40. Ontario looked to get on the board after forward Cameron Schilling drew a hooking call on Robinson and pulled Campbell for the extra attacker, but the team could not find the back of the net as time expired. Campbell made 29 saves in the loss.
The Ontario Reign close a four-game homestand on Wednesday, February 22 against the Tucson Roadrunners at 7:00 p.m. at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Grab a ticket, hot dog and soda starting at $25 and NO FEES with a Reign Power Play Pack! Buy Pack
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