ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign (17-6-1-0), defending Pacific Division Champions and proud affiliate of the NHL’s 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, matched their season-high margin of victory in a 7-0 shutout over the San Francisco Bulls (10-15-1-2) before an enthusiastic crowd of 5,513 on Friday. Derek Couture had a hat trick and Chris Carrozzi earned his second shutout of the season.
The Reign kept the puck in the Bulls’ end most of the first period, but couldn’t get it past Taylor Nelson. Ontario’s best chance came as Brock Sheahan was left alone between the hash marks, but Nelson got a glove on the defenseman’s rising shot. Carrozzi came up big as he made the save on Daniil Tarasov’s doorstop opportunity.
Paul Mara broke the stalemate at 3:49 of the second frame with his first goal of the season on a Reign power play. Devin Setoguchi fed the puck to Mara in the corner who then passed to Kyle Kraemer at the front of the net. Kraemer tried to stuff it under Nelson but the puck bounced back to Mara who chipped it off the sprawling goaltender. Kraemer extended the Reign lead to 2-0 at 13:11 as he one-timed CJ Stretch’s pass from the base of the right circle. Just 31 seconds later, Dan DaSilva buried a pass from Couture for his 10th goal of the season. Ontario went up 4-0 at 18:30 on a power-play goal by Couture. DaSilva carried the puck across the San Francisco blue line and passed to Colton Yellow Horn who feathered a no-look pass to Couture as he was streaking into the slot. The Reign held the Bulls to three shots in the period.
The third period started like the second period ended – with a Reign goal. Matt Clune’s slap shot sailed high and wide to the right of the net. Nelson hugged the post, but the puck took a long bounce to the left side of the net where Jason Beeman snapped it into the wide-open cage. Couture scored his second of the game at 7:57 and sent hats-a-flying as he redirected Chris Huxley’s point shot for his third tally of the game. Both came with the extra attacker.
Ontario went 4-for-4 on the power play to improve to 21.3% on the season. Huxley’s two assists were the 49th and 50th of his professional career. Carrozzi made 21 saves to improve to 9-4-0 while Nelson dropped to 1-5-1 with 24 saves on 31 shots.
1. ONT – Chris Carrozzi
2. ONT – Derek Couture
3. ONT – Paul Mara
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