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Reign Top Griffins with 3-1 Win

April 4, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Kevin Tansey (right) vs. the Ontario Reign
Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Kevin Tansey (right) vs. the Ontario Reign
(Grand Rapids Griffins, Credit: Jessica Harsen/Ontario Reign)

ONTARIO, Calif. - The Grand Rapids Griffins fired 41 shots at Ontario's Cal Petersen on Wednesday night, but the goaltender turned away all of them except one to earn the Reign a 3-1 win at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

The Griffins' lone tally came from Wade Megan on the power play 3:53 into the third period, sandwiched between two goals from Ontario's Zack Mitchell. With a late empty-net goal from Reign forward Kyle Bauman, Ontario (23-30-6-4) secured the 3-1 victory, along with a sweep of its two-game season series with Grand Rapids.

Chicago leads the Central Division with 92 points, six above the Griffins (38-23-6-4) and 11 atop the third-ranked Iowa Wild. Grand Rapids will close out the upcoming weekend with a two-game stint in San Jose starting Friday at 10 p.m. EDT before hosting Iowa at Van Andel Arena next Wednesday.

Ontario went to work early, peppering Patrik Rybar with 14 shots in the first period alone. Three chances on the power play left the Reign with six minutes of a 5-on-4 advantage through the frame, but Rybar turned away all attempts to notch half of his eventual 28 saves through the first 20 minutes of regulation.

A little over 21 minutes in, though, Mitchell broke through the scoreless tie to put Ontario on the board early in the middle frame. Reign forward Philippe Maillet slid the puck past Grand Rapids defenders to Mitchell in the Griffins' zone for a makeshift breakaway, and Mitchell snapped the puck over Rybar's glove at 1:14 for the first goal of the game.

Grand Rapids responded in kind, running up an eventual 11-1 shot advantage that would allow the Griffins to close the second period outshooting Ontario 12-6. Still, Petersen stood strong between the pipes, defending Ontario's one-goal lead through the remainder of the period to keep Grand Rapids off the board heading into the final frame.

Two goals were netted on power plays in the third period, with the first coming on one of the Griffins' four chances of the night. Less than a minute into the man-advantage, Carter Camper threw a shot toward Petersen from the right-wing circle. The puck rang right off the stick of Megan on the doorstep and into the net, evening the score at 1-1 with 16:07 left in regulation.

The Reign recorded a power play goal of their own at 5:42 as Mitchell earned his second tally of the night and recaptured Ontario's lead. Maillet assisted once again, carving a shot toward Rybar from the slot that bounced off the goaltender. Mitchell was there to clean up the rebound, notching his second goal of the night and 12th of the year.

Petersen pulled out all of the stops through the remainder of the frame as Grand Rapids mirrored the Reign's 14-shot effort from the first period. Rybar left the ice for an extra attacker with a little over 1:30 still on the clock, but Petersen still proved to be reliant as he gloved down any remaining attempts.

With two seconds left in regulation, the Reign finalized the score of 3-1 as Kyle Bauman picked off a pass in the Griffins' zone and lobbed it into the empty net.

Notes: Troy Loggins made his pro debut with the Griffins...In the first matchup between the two teams on Nov. 16 at Van Andel Arena, Chris Terry scored seven seconds into the game for the fastest goal to open any period in Griffins franchise history...Ontario's fourth-year head coach Mike Stothers served as Grand Rapids' bench boss during the 2007-08 campaign when the Griffins finished with a 31-41-2-6 record and a fifth-place standing in the North Division.

Three Stars: 1. ONT Mitchell (two goals); 2. ONT Petersen (40 saves); 3. ONT Maillet (two assists)

Images from this story

Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Kevin Tansey (right) vs. the Ontario Reign
Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Kevin Tansey (right) vs. the Ontario Reign

(Jessica Harsen/Ontario Reign)

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