Wrapping up their seven-game road trip with five games in seven days, in five different cities last week, did nothing to slow down the Ontario Reign. Ontario went 4-0-1 last week, ending their trip with a 5-1-1 record. With a 9-1-4 record this season for 22 points, the Reign are part of a four-way tie for the top spot in the ECHL, and they have a seven-point lead over Stockton for first place in the Pacific Division.
Ontario opened last week with a 3-2 shootout loss at Utah on Monday. Jake Newton and Mario Lamoureux notched regulation goals for the Reign while Michael Hutchinson turned aside 38 of the 40 shots he faced.
Wednesday in Idaho, the Reign erased a 3-0 first-period deficit with three goals of their own in the middle 20 minutes of play, only to see the Steelheads take a 5-3 lead with a pair of third-period tallies. Lamoureux pulled Ontario back within one just 49 seconds after Idaho’s fifth goal and Newton forced overtime with his second goal of the game with only 10 seconds remaining in regulation. Zach O’Brien tallied the game-winner for Ontario 1:38 into the extra session.
On Friday, Ontario spotted Stockton a 1-0 lead after the opening period only to roar back with the final four goals in a 4-1 win. Four different Reign players scored goals in the win with Newton (1g-1a) and Dan DaSilva (2a) leading the way with two points each. Hutchinson stopped 15 of the shots he faced to earn the win in goal.
The Reign raced out to a 3-0 lead after two periods on Saturday in Bakersfield on goals from DaSilva, Lamoureux and Matt White. The Condors climbed back within one midway through the third period, but DaSilva iced the game with an empty-net goal with 57 seconds remaining.
Ontario ended its whirlwind week with a 3-1 win at San Francisco on Sunday. DaSilva led the way with a goal and two assists and Hutchinson came up big in goal, turning aside 38 of 39 Bulls’ shots.
DaSilva, who leads the ECHL with 19 assists and 26 points, had a big week last week with 12 points (3g-9a) in the five games. Hutchinson, who is 7-0-2 in his nine appearances this season, leads the league with a .940 save percentage and is second with a 1.75 goals-against average.
The Reign, who have not played at home since Nov. 6, play seven of their next eight games at Citizens Business Bank Arena, starting with a pair of match-ups against Bakersfield on Friday and Saturday.