Ontario, CA – Forwards Brett Sutter and Sean Backman each tallied two-point performances to lead the Ontario Reign (25-12-8-0) past the Iowa Wild (25-21-5-2), 3-1, on Wednesday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Netminder Jack Campbell picked up his 22nd win of the season with 20 saves, including 12 in the final period.
“It was a good win,” commented Head Coach Mike Stothers after the game. “Any win is a good win, but this one was really good. I think we played the way we needed to play. It might have not been the most exciting game, but we did a good job.”
After a quiet first period for both teams, Ontario pressured early in the second frame, generating chances, but could not find the back of the net. The Reign finally capitalized on the power play nonetheless, after Iowa forward Teemu Pulkkinen is called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Sutter put Ontario up front after subtly redirecting a Backman pass at 12:51. Defenseman Alex Privitera was credited with the secondary assist for his first AHL point. The Reign made it 2-0, scoring right off the faceoff after forward Mike Amadio fed the puck to Sutter who finds a wide-open Backman in front of the net and knocks home his goal with 55.6 seconds remaining in the period. Ontario outshot the Wild, 14-3 in middle period alone.
“I thought everyone on our team played good,” said newcomer Devin Setoguchi. “As far as myself, I’m not going to lie it was tough the first two periods. Five days off is tough. I felt like it wasn’t until the third period that I got my legs moving more and created some chances.”
Iowa put Campbell to work in the third, tacking on seven shots within the first seven minutes of play. The Wild had a golden opportunity on the power play, but were denied by a sliding save from Campbell on Pulkkinen who had a wide-open net. Ontario extended their lead at 9:38 on a one-timer from forward Jonny Brodzinski who scored on a feed from forward TJ Hensick. Brodzinski now leads the team with 19 goals on the season.
The Reign looked to add onto their lead after Iowa defenseman Mike Weber was called for tripping with 4:12 remaining; however it was the Wild who would score after an Ontario turnover led to a shorthanded goal by Pulkkinen to break the shutout bid for Campbell.
The Wild went 0-for-2 with the man advantage while Ontario went 1-for-2. Stalock finished with 24 saves for the Wild.
Celebrate LA Kings Affiliation Night presented by the University of La Verne on Friday, February 17 at 7:00 against the Tucson Roadrunners at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Kings legend Charlie Simmer drops the ceremonial first puck and will be signing autographs during the first intermission. The first 5,000 fans receive a Kingston vinyl figure courtesy of Foddrill Construction Corp. Baily, the Kings mascot, and the Kings Ice Crew will join the fun as well! More Information Buy Tickets Power Play Pack
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