The Ontario Reign salvaged a weekend split against the Calgary Wranglers with a 4-0 home victory on Sunday afternoon.

Goal Breakdown

First period:


Second period:

ONT: PP Mikhail Maltsev (4), ASST: Martin Chromiak (4), Alex Turcotte (10)

ONT: Brandt Clarke (4), ASST: Mikhail Maltsev (6)

Third period: 

ONT: PP Samuel Fagemo (2), ASST: Brandt Clarke (9), Mikhail Maltsev (7)

ONT: EN Samuel Fagemo (3), ASST: Alex Turcotte (11)



CGY: 0

ONT: 4


CGY: 19

ONT: 24

Power plays:

CGY: 0/5

ONT: 2/8

Here are three takeaways from Sunday’s 4-0 victory:

Complete game

After dropping a close game on Friday in the shootout, the Ontario Reign responded with a 4-0 shutout victory over the Calgary Wranglers. Head coach Marco Sturm liked his team’s effort in Friday’s loss but didn’t like the first 10-15 minutes as he felt his team had “too much respect” for Calgary. After Sunday’s game, it was a different tune from the second-year head coach.

“It was probably the best complete sixty minutes we’ve played in a long time,” Sturm said after his team’s 4-0 victory. The Reign did a good job of creating chances in the offensive zone the moment the puck dropped and held Calgary shotless until the 12:30 mark of the opening period. Special teams came up big (more on them later) with two power-play goals and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. They blocked shots as a team and didn’t allow many high-danger chances. More efforts like that going forward will make Sturm a happy coach.

Special teams come up big

Before the second period, the Ontario Reign power play was in an 0-for-16 skid. That skid was snapped as Mikhail Maltsev’s power-play goal on a two-on-one attempt opened the scoring 5:51 into the middle frame. It’s been tough sledding for the Reign on the man advantage this season after being number one two years ago and seventh last year. It’s not a personnel issue, as it’s just not being able to convert on the man advantage issue. After being held scoreless on four attempts Friday night, the Reign potted two power-play goals, going 2-for-8 on the afternoon.

The penalty kill batted 1.000, going 5-for-5, including having to kill three straight penalties late in the second period. Calgary didn’t have that many chances on their man advantages as the Reign penalty killers did a great job breaking up passes and being active with their sticks. Even goaltender Erik Portillo broke up a back door pass with his stick to prevent a Calgary scoring opportunity. When the shots got through, Portillo made the saves. It was a huge sequence in the game as the Reign held a 2-0 lead against the top team in the Pacific Division that could’ve swung momentum. Instead, they killed off all three penalties and went into the intermission with their two-goal lead.

Erik Portillo earns his first shutout

While the big boys got on the scoresheet for the Reign, Erik Portillo was the number one star of the game. It was a rough night in Colorado two weeks ago when the 23-year-old rookie surrendered five goals in a 5-3 loss. Since, in two starts, Portillo has allowed only one goal as he recorded his first professional shutout in yesterday’s start. Portillo didn’t see much action throughout the game, as he only needed to make 19 saves to record the shutout, but came up with some key saves on the penalty kill in the second period. His biggest save came in the second period as Wranglers forward Clark Bishop had a breakaway chance that was denied by Portillo’s blocker to keep the game scoreless.

In five games, Portillo has posted a 2.20 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. Albeit, in a small sample size, it’s good to see Portillo get comfortable and keep adjusting to the pro level after many fans were quick to give up on him two months ago as he didn’t have a strong Rookie Faceoff tournament. He’s still a work in progress, but his rebound control, which has been suspect early on, was much better in yesterday’s outing.

UP NEXT: The Ontario Reign hit the road for a three-game road trip this week. Their first stop is in Coachella Valley, as they take on the Firebirds on Tuesday at 7 pm PT. That game can be seen on AHLTV.

Featured image credit: Mike Zitek/Ontario Reign

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