STOCKTON, Calif. – Emilio Pettersen netted his second goal of the campaign to start the scoring, but four unanswered goals helped the Ontario Reign (25-8-3-2) push past the Stockton Heat (26-8-3-1) by a 5-2 final score Friday at Stockton Arena.
The Reign built a 4-1 lead through two periods of play, answering Pettersen’s marker late in the first with a goal in the final three minutes of the opening frame before adding three in the second stanza, giving the visitors a three-goal edge through 40 minutes.
The Heat pushed back in the third, Byron Froese potting his 11th goal of the campaign 12:30 into the period, but Stockton was unable to draw closer than two before the Reign added an empty-netter for the decisive tally.
Stockton enters Saturday’s rematch a perfect 11-0-0-0 following losses this season.
- Emilio Pettersen’s score to put Stockton ahead 1-0 was his second goal of the season, first since December 11 against Tucson.
- Justin Kirkland notched his third multi-point game of the season, first multi-assist effort of the campaign.
- The game was the first time this year the Heat did not record at least a point when scoring first, now 21-1-2-0 on the year in those contests.
- The Heat are now 3-2-0-0 on the year against Ontario, 1-1-0-0 at Stockton Arena.
STK PP – 0-for-5
STK PK – 3-for-3
First – Tyler Madden (1g,1a)
Second – Matthew Villalta (33 svs)
Third – Justin Kirkland (2a)
W – Matthew Villalta (33 saves on 35 shots faced)
L – Dustin Wolf (26 saves on 30 shots faced)
ND – Adam Werner (5 saves on 5 shots faced)
Stockton and Ontario wrap their two-game set Saturday, a 6 p.m. puck drop on Star Wars Night at Stockton Arena.