Reign feast on Thunderbirds and continue the playoff push

by Christian Moreno

Friday, February 18th Game Recap: 

The first game of the weekend was a wild one with a final score of 7-4 resulting in a Reign victory. The game started relativity relaxed with two goals being scored by each team, Junah Croteau for the Reign and Caleb Strong for the Thunderbirds. Junah Croteau continued to play exceptionally and had an incredible six-point night. Croteau was all over the ice that night, no matter where the puck was, Croteau was always on it. A very fast game included an eight-goal second period, five coming from the Reign, and three from the Thunderbirds. Brenden Bauer also continues his hot streak by scoring a hat-trick in the second period, as he was also all over the puck the entire night. The third period settled down as the Reign played a terrific defensive game and held down the fort, led by goaltender James Palmer making 27 saves on 31 shots on the night. 

The Las Vegas Thunderbirds came in to play spoiler and hopes of ending the Reigns playoff hopes but quickly realized that the Reign came ready to play. Caleb Strong, one of their top goal scorers came into the night continuing his scoring spree as he scored two goals on the night. Anthony Bonaldi had a tough night between the pipes allowing six goals and making 20 saves on 26 shots. 

Saturday, February 19th Game Recap: 

The Reign looked to sweep the weekend coming into Saturday night's game, the contest was a tight back and forth game up to the final. As the Reign lost in a shootout 4-3 to the Thunderbirds. But the Reign’s playoff hopes are still alive after the weekend as they were able to still grab a point from the second-placed Thunderbirds. The Reign had three different goal scorers in Colby Cuddington, Ryland Semamiuk, and Braedon LeGrandur. The goaltending for both teams was outstanding as they both made key saves throughout the entire night, especially in overtime where the plays were big, but the saves were even bigger. Goaltender James Palmer, making 31 saves on 34 shots was given the shootout loss but was a big part of why they were able to make it past regulation. Both Junah Croteau and Damon Ageymen were the Reign goal scores in the shootout but unfortunately came up short in the end. 

The Thunderbirds were wanting revenge after losing the first game and they capitalized on that with a shootout win. With goals from Jadon Kwiatkowski his 11th of the season, Isak Johansson his first goal of the season, and Nick Bonaldi his third of the season all in regulation. Thunderbirds goaltender Loic Morrin played very well making 37 saves on 40 shots and getting the shootout win. The shootout goal scorers were Caleb Strong, Antoine Tourigny, and the game-winning scorer Guillaume Dufour.