OJR Finishes Season Series With Monsters

by Sebastian Abdon Ibarra

The Ontario Jr Reign battled for three games against a formidable Fresno Monsters opponent, dropping two of the three contests. It was not the desired outcome for a team with aspirations of first place in the division. 

Dreams of a division championship are not completely dead in the water, that is why the games are played. The Jr Reign are going to have to be locked in down the stretch and hope that the Monsters falter for any shot at first place. 

The Jr Reign put up a great fight in game one of the series, scoring three goals in the second period to keep the game level at 3. However, after keeping USPHL’s leading scorer Noak Persson relatively quiet for two periods, he would prove too much and help the Monsters pull away in the final period in a 5-3 loss. 

Ontario won game two of the series as Cooper Kantola placed a shot over the Monsters' goalie in overtime. The OJR’s second OT win against Fresno this season. OJR also held the advantage on special teams scoring on 2 of their 4 Powerplay opportunities and holding the monsters' powerplay in check as the Penalty kill was 3 for 3. 

It was a big night for the Captain Eamon Julian with two points, and many key blocked shots, and newcomer Tegan Neuman who recorded his first point as a member of the Jr Reign making a great feed to Tristan Lam to open the scoring. Not to be outdone was Kaedin Larocque-Wolfe, who scored an equalizer in the second period and a final one in the third to send the game to overtime.

In the third and final game, the Jr Reign spent too much time on the Penalty Kill, and the Monsters earned a 7-3 victory. In the third period, Oliver Hawks scored his first goal of the season and first as a member of the Jr Reign. Julian ended his solid weekend performance with another goal, his fourth goal in as many games. He scored a goal in every game this series and finished with four points across the three games. 

Head Coach and General Manager Jeremy Blumes “We are disappointed with the result, however, we know we can execute better in a handful of critical areas. We played through all kinds of adversity, this weekend was a valuable experience and will serve as motivation for our group down the final stretch of the regular season and in preparing for the post-season.”

The Jr Reign look to bounce back next week with their matchup against the Long Beach Shredders, who they have a 6-0 record against this season.