The Ontario Reign dropped the first meeting of the two-game series against the Stockton Heat in a shootout on Friday night.

Goal breakdown

1st period: 

STK: PP Matthew Phillips (28) ASST: Byron Froese (12), Martin Pospisil (14)

ONT: Frederic Allard (2) ASST: T.J. Tynan (73)

2nd period: 

STK: Emilio Petterssen (10) ASST: Kevin Gravel (11), Nick DeSimone (19)

ONT: Thomas Hickey (6) ASST: Jaret Anderson-Dolan (20)

3rd period: 

None

Overtime: 

None

Shootout winner: 

STK: Justin Kirkland

Stats

Goals: 

ONT: 2

STK: 3

Shots: 

ONT: 26

STK: 38

Power-plays:

ONT: 0/2

STK: 1/5

Three takeaways from last night’s loss:

1. Goals from unlikely defensemen

If I were to ask you to guess who scored for the Ontario Reign last night, your first guess would probably be Martin Frk, Samuel Fagemo, T.J. Tynan, or Jaret Anderson-Dolan. What if I told you Frederic Allard and Thomas Hickey scored both the goals for the Reign last night? You probably wouldn’t believe it. Don’t worry I was shocked they provided the offense for the Reign as well. In games against opponents like the Stockton Heat, you’re going to need to get goals from unlikely resources.

Frederic Allard got the first goal of the game for Ontario after a won faceoff by Tynan. With nobody in front of him to block the shot, Allard fired the puck past Heat netminder Dustin Wolf to tie the game at one with 44 seconds remaining in the first period. It was Allard’s first goal as a member of the Ontario Reign since being acquired from the Milwaukee Admirals via trade.

Hickey netted his second goal since joining the team on March 19th on a loan from the New York Islanders. Hickey’s goal knotted the game up at two with 3:33 left to go in the second period. Funny enough, both goals from Allard and Hickey came during 4-on-4.

2. The skid continues

The Reign train has hit a rough patch on the tracks at the moment. In their last 11 games, the Reign have lost 8 of them including a four-game losing streak, and now a three-game losing streak during that span. There has been little to no Reign in the forecast lately. There are eight games left in the season with the playoffs right around the corner. With their loss last night to Stockton, the Reign did pick up a point in the standings, but the Heat extended their lead for the first seed. The Reign’s chances of nabbing that top spot are now hanging by a thread.

3. Standings race heating up

The Reign trail the division-leading Heat by eight points, but the teams behind them in the standings are starting to make things interesting. With a loss and a Colorado Eagles win last night, the Reign now hold a two-point lead on Colorado with two games in hand on them for second place.

They lead both the fourth and fifth seed Abbotsford Canucks and Bakersfield Condors by nine points. The Reign can’t fall any lower than the fifth seed. Getting a higher seed and home-ice advantage in round one is vastly important considering how much success the Reign have had on home ice this season (21-5-4-2). Should be a tight and interesting finish the rest of the way.

UP NEXT: The Reign train makes a quick pit stop at home Sunday at 3:00 PM PT with a rematch against the Stockton Heat. It’ll be the eighth and final meeting between the two teams.