Theย Ontario Reign takes game one of the weekend series with a 5-2 win over the Stockton Heat to pull to within one point of first place in the Pacific Division.

GOALS:

1st Period:

2:06 STK- Emilio Pettersen (2) ASST: Justin Kirkland (8)

17:26 ONT- Tyler Madden (12) ASST: Jordan Spence (27)

2nd Period:

7:13 ONT- Helge Grans (5)ย  ASST: Tyler Madden (12)

18:33 ONT- Austin Strand (3)ย  ASST: Alex Turcotte (11)

19:05 ONT- Jaret Anderson-Dolan (17) ASST: Martin Frk (21) T.J. Tynan (41)

3rd Period :

12: 30 STK- Byron Froese (11) ASST: Nick DeSimone (15) Justin Kirkland (9)

18:57 ONT- Martin Frk (21) ASST: T.J. Tynan (42) (EN)

1. Villalta Standing Tall-ta

Ontario came out in the first period looking pretty sluggish and after the Heat scored in just over two minutes, it looked they could be headed for a long night. Luckily for Ontario, Matthew Villalta had other ideas.

While waiting for his boys to get their legs, Villata had to make several four-alarm habanero saves to keep them in the game. It could have been a 3-0 lead for the Heat early in the first period without the heroics of Ontario’s netminder.

In fact, he should have been the game’s first star, but if I go on too long about that somebody in Stockton will say, “Sir, this is a Wendy’s”.

2. Excellent Penalty Kills

It’s a well-established fact that Ontario’s penalty killing has hovered between “hot garbage” and “week-old tuna sandwich in the back of the fridge” all season. And yet, on Friday, the PK stepped up big time, hanging up a neat little 0-for-5 on the Heat’s power play.

In a chippy game where Martin Frk was slew-footed by Alex Gallant and Brett Sutter threw down with Martin Pospisil, it’s a good bet that there will be more penalties to kill off when they meet again tomorrow.

Hopefully, this improved PK mojo will stick around for the rest of the season and the playoffs.

3. I Ain’t Tyler Madden At You

When it comes to the Reign, there’s a myriad of names that LA Kings fans plug into the following phrase: “For the love of all that’s holy, why won’t the Kings call up _________?”

For some reason, Tyler Madden’s name doesn’t get thrown in here, but dagnabbit, he really should. He tied the game up in the first period with a sick, top corner snipe and used his speed to make an impact all over the ice.

He is one of those guys that seems to get better with almost every game and it will be fun to see where this kid’s ceiling is.

Next Up: Ontario Reign vs. Stockton Heat, February 12th, 6:00 PST.

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