The Ontario Reign are finally clicking, stringing together three wins in their last four games and getting points from all four with a shootout loss at Bakersfield Saturday.
With the win on Wednesday, Ontario now has won back-to-back home games for the first time this season. They also took three points out of a possible four on the road over the weekend. They are still 13-22-0-2 and 13 points out of playoffs, but the Reign believe there is plenty of time to change that.
“You can’t change the past,” Head Coach Karl Taylor said before Wednesday’s win against the Condors. “We’re moving forward. Our focus is on tonight’s game, finding a way to get points tonight. If we start chipping away at that, then you start moving and start getting some life and feeling better about yourself. You’ll get some confidence back and play better.”
Wednesday night, Coach Taylor’s club looked impressive, as they shutout the Bakersfield Condors at Citizens Business Bank Arena 1-0.
After a scoreless first period, Ontario’s Michael Pelech opened up the scoring just 47 seconds into the second period. Pelech took the pass from Brett O’Malley behind the net with speed and buried a backhand wrap-around, beating goalie Brian Stewart for the game’s only goal.
Beau Erickson was brilliant in net for the Reign, turning aside all 27 shots he faced, including a breakaway and several odd man rushes in the third for his first shutout of the season. Stewart suffered the loss making 24 saves on 25 shots.
“It’s pretty easy in sports, when you get in a slump, to either become negative or kind of nay-say. For me, just making sure guys remain accountable and we remain focused on what the plan is, and not to veer off that path. … You put some shifts together, that’ll turn into periods, and that’ll turn into some games. One step at a time,” The Reign’s captain David Walker said.
For now, the Reign will need to continue focusing on one game at a time if they wish to continue the short success they are having right now.
“It’s been a tough year, but we’re trying to battle through it. Nobody in here is giving up or using the Q-word, so from that standpoint it’s good to see. We’re all still committed. We all still believe that there’s time left,” Walker said.
The Reign will be back on the ice Friday and Saturday night as they take on the Stockton Thunder at the Stockton Arena before returning home to battle the Thunder at Citizens Business bank Arena Sunday afternoon.