Thunder Taken Down by Reign 4-1
The Thunder fell to the Ontario Reign for the second time in three days by a score of 4-1 Friday night at Stockton Arena.
“We had a pretty good game against them the other night, it was evenly played,” said Head Coach Rich Kromm. “Tonight was a different story. I thought they outplayed us all night long.”
The Thunder shot total on the night was doubled by the Reign as they tallied 34 while the Thunder offense was only able to muster up 17 shots.
“To me we looked like a team that didn’t have any legs,” Kromm said. “They were beating us to pucks all over the ice. That’s how it was last time we saw them here so we certainly have to find a way to respond to that.”
Captain Garet Hunt responded to Ontario’s first goal with one of his own halfway through the first period. Hunt was able to sneak it through the legs of Reign goaltender Michael Hutchinson to temporally tie the game at one.
The play started with Ryan Constant at the point who sent it behind the net to Andrew Clark, who quickly got a pass off to the Thunder captain as he peeled away from his defenseman in the slot. Hutchinson had no time to react as he was beaten five-hole by Hunt.
After the Thunder’s goal, the Reign then took control of the game, posting three goals in the second period to make the score 4-1. The three goals were the most given up by the Thunder in one period all season.
Thunder goaltender Brian Foster kept his team in the game as he stopped 30 shots on the night and without Foster, the score could have been greater.
“We can’t all rely on Foster,” said Hunt. “He is an excellent goalie and he has been playing wonderful for us but we were a bit loose and we need to tighten up.”
The defense seemed to not be in as much of a grove as they have been in the past few games. Ontario seemed to have many chances on the break with odd man advantages surrendered by the Thunder.
“There was a couple there that should have never developed into odd man breaks,” said Kromm. “We would have a high forward but they would blow right by with their defenseman that nobody was picking up.”
With the loss the Thunder now fall four points back of the Ontario Reign in the Pacific division and are currently tied with the Colorado Eagles with 24 points in the Western Conference.
“We have to be able to get up for these types of games,” said Hunt. “We definitely have to have our A-game against the top teams in the conference. Winning these games will help us in the postseason and we just have to find a way.”
With a third of the season now done for the Thunder, they look to kick of the next third on a positive note as they travel down to Bakersfield to visit the Condors. The Condors should be a welcome sight for the Thunder as they have won three of the four games against the Condors this season, however, Bakersfield has gotten better results as of late so it should still be a tough game the Thunder cannot overlook.
Fans can head to the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel tomorrow beginning at 6:00 p.m. as the official watch party kicks off an hour before faceoff at 7:00 p.m.