Ontario at Fresno: Series Recap

by Tomas Kapusta

The USPHL Ontario Jr. Reign traveled to Fresno for a crucial three-game series against the Monsters where the Jr. Reign continued their fight for the standings. The series began on Thursday when the Monsters came out blazing hot, scoring two goals in the first period followed by one more in each of the next two periods to put the Jr. Reign down 4-0. Down big, the Jr. Reign attempted a late rally in which they were able to capitalize on two power plays which saw Max Kathol and Aidan Turner each score a goal but ultimately it was not enough as they lost 4-2.

Friday saw a disappointed team ready to bounce back after a rough opener, the Monsters opened the scoring but Max Kathol responded with a goal of his own to tie it at 1. The Monsters scored two goals shortly after with one near the end of the first and another at the beginning of the second period however the Jr. Reign wasn't going down without a fight as Lare Pahtayken netted a goal of his own to try to build momentum which unfortunately didn't last as the Monsters responded with 2 more goals to put them up 5-2. After an early goal in the third by Devin Blair, the late rally fell short once again as Fresno scored the dagger to ultimately win 6-3.

Saturday saw a frustrated Jr. Reign and it showed as they came out hot and jumped to a 2-1 lead after the first period with goals from Max Kathol and Kai Clayton. Team leader Ethan McKibbin started the second period with a goal to increase the lead to 3-1. The momentum did not last as the Monsters scored 3 goals in the next ten minutes to lead 4-3 but Carter Demelo did not want to enter the third trailing as he scored a goal to go into the second intermission tied at 4. Fresno opened the scoring in the third but Ethan McKibbin responded quickly with a goal of his own to tie it again at 5. Unfortunately for the Jr. Reign, the hard-fought game would not end in their favor as Fresno scored on a power play with under 5 minutes left to win 6-5 to finish the sweep.

The Jr. Reign look to bounce back as they return to Ontario on Friday, December 9 where they will welcome the Las Vegas Thunderbirds once again as they will face off for another series which last saw the Jr. Reign take it two games to one.