By J.P. Hoornstra
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
ONTARIO, Calif. – Shawn Germain can’t remember the last time he scored two goals in a game. Seriously.
The Reign defenseman won’t forget Friday’s playoff opener for a while, as he scored his team’s first and last goals to lead a 4-3 victory over the Stockton Thunder before 3,969 at Citizens Business Bank Arena. The Reign lead the best-of-seven series 1-0, with Game 2 set for 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Bank.
“A couple great passes by (Bud) Holloway and (P.J.) Atherton freed me,” Germain said. “I just tried to get it on net. That was one of our focuses before the game, just to get pucks on net, put heat on them down low, and they happened to go in.”
After lowering the Pacific Division championship banner from the ceiling before the game, the Reign played like a No. 1 seed, gaining a 3-1 lead on the No. 4 Thunder.
But Stockton charged back with a pair of goals by Cory Urquhart – his second and third of the game – during a 4:09 span of the final period.
With the game tied at 3 and 7:42 remaining, the Reign capitalized on their seventh and final power play when Germain flicked a shot past Stockton goalie Bryan Pitton, who came on in relief of injured starter Andrew Perugini.
“Our power play got going, we were able to shoot the puck,” Reign coach Karl Taylor said. “In playoffs, you’ll take wins any way you can and we were happy to get the first one.”