OJR Fall Short in Shootout

by Sebastian Abdon Ibarra

The Ontario Jr Reign fell (16-5-0) by a score of 8-4 to the Fresno Monsters (15-1-0) at Ontario Center Ice Arena. It was the Jr Reign’s first loss in over 49 days, sadly putting an end to their franchise record 12 game winning streak. 

Photo by Sophia Mitchell 

The game certainly lived up to its billing as a potential slugfest between the two best teams in the division. It was an action packed first period that set the tone for the night, offense was the name of the game tonight. There were no goals scored in the first seven minutes of the contest, but each side was attacking the net and creating chances. 

Fresno claimed a 1-0 lead early, but Ontario did what they have all season, respond quickly and in bunches. Kaedin Larocque-Wolfe got the scoring started for the OJR after Diego Flota maneuvered a pretty pass through traffic to him with help from Rhys Doyle. They scored an additional two times on back to back power play goals from Nicholas Fiolleau and Jettson Koch to give the Jr Reign a 3-1 lead heading into the second period. 

Going a perfect 2-2 on the power play and holding a two goal lead was about as perfect a start as the Jr Reign could ask for against a very good opponent, and they carried that momentum into the second period. Chris Lai made it a 4-1 Ontario game with his seventh goal of the season. 

At the start of the game, the Jr Reign defense and goalie held their own against the vaunted Monster offense. They held Fresno to two goals through the first 25 minutes of this game, but the Monsters are one of the top offenses for a reason and eventually broke open the floodgates. It was a 4-6 Fresno lead heading into the final period. 

While the Monsters were able to best Ontario on Friday night, it took some herculean performances in order to do so. The Jr Reign were fighting tooth and nail down the stretch trying to erase a two goal deficit, but credit Fresno goalie Ethan Jourden for making great plays on the puck to prevent the OJR from making a comeback. 

The Ontario Jr Reign will have a chance to respond this afternoon for game two of this three game series with the Fresno Monsters. Puck drop is set for 3:55 p.m, purchase your tickets today and let’s help our boys get back in the win column!

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