Ontario Reign vs Stockton Heat

Sean Durzi’s three assists in his return to Ontario lead the Reign to a 5-3 win over the Stockton Heat on Monday night.

In an entertaining rematch, the Ontario Reign were able to bounce back after Sunday’s loss with a 5-3 win against the Stockton Heat (10-1-2), handing the visitors their first regulation loss of the season. Sean Durzi returned to the lineup and picked up three assists while Tyler Madden scored two first-period goals to lead Ontario (11-2-0-1).

Adam Werner had played well the first two periods but gave up three quick goals in the third. He ended with saves 21 on 26 shots.

Matt Villalta made 18 saves for the win.

Game Recap

After a brief stop in Los Angeles, Durzi drew back into the lineup:

It was an eventful first period with the Reign starting off on the front foot. Madden got things started just 2:13 into the first:

The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as just under a minute after Madden’s goal, Stockton would answer back with two quick strikes. The first of which came from a tip-in by Matthew Phillips:

Just 50 seconds later, Glenn Gawdin was able to get inside position on Jordan Spence to tap home the Nick DeSimone feed:

The Ontario Reign would even things up with a tremendous individual effort by Madden after Durzi made a good play at the defensive blueline:

It was a very high-paced period, with the Reign out-shooting Stockton 11-7 and out-attempting the visitors 21-15.

Like the first period, there would be a quick goal in the second, this time from Stockton:

Overall, the second period wasn’t quite the same pace as the first, but the two teams traded chances late in the frame, to no avail.

As was the theme of this game, another early-period goal started us off in the third. Brett Sutter picked up a loose puck on the wall and fired it a shot over the glove side of Werner to tie the game at three:

Less than four minutes later, the Sutter line would be instrumental yet again with their in-zone forecheck leading to an Austin Strand goal:

It wouldn’t be two minutes before Ontario would strike again. Vladimir Tkachev scored his first AHL goal after a pass from Durzi in the slot:

The three-goal third period would prove to be enough for Ontario, as Stockton couldn’t generate much of a push the rest of the game.

The Reign will be back in action on Friday, November 27th, when they welcome the Bakersfield Condors to Toyota Arena.

Shot Attempts

The win was well deserved for the Ontario Reign:

vs Stockton Shot Attempts For Shot Attempts Against CORSI CF%
All Strengths 55 42 13 56.7%
All Strengths HD 19 13 6 59.38%
5v5 50 32 18 61.0%
5v5 HD 17 9 8 65.4%

Box Score

The full box score can be found here.

Thoughts and Takeaways

  • This was one of the season’s best games from a shot attempts standpoint overall and their best at 5-on-5. These two games against Stockton were better showings than they’ve had recently.
  • I thought Grans was strong in this one. He picked up another assist and is settling in nicely with the increased game time. The Swedish blueliner is not at all hesitant in the offensive zone to jump into the play while his defensive zone play was strong against the Heat.
  • It was nice to see Madden get back in the goal column. He had gone seven straight games without one before this game.
  • With his three assists, Durzi now has seven points in his last two AHL games. If anyone in Ontario deserves a shot in Los Angeles (one where he actually plays), it’s Durzi.
  • Alex Turcotte has now gone three straight games without a point. He didn’t register a shot on goal either. To pour salt in the would, his attempt at the empty net from the high slot went wide.
  • Tkachev extended his point streak to seven games (one goal, ten assists).
  • This was just the second game this season T.J. Tynan was held off the scoresheet.
  • That’s now eight goals allowed in Villalta’s last two outings. It’s tough to blame him on the goals, all three were off of redirects in front of the net.
  • Unlike Sunday’s game, there wasn’t much in the way of special teams in this one. Stockton was 0-2 on the power play, but their first one was abbreviated while Ontario was technically 0-1, but they only had 21 seconds with the man advantage.

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