Escondido native Austin Ortega scored the winning goal in the shootout and also scored in regulation as the San Diego Gulls defeated the Ontario Reign, 4-3, Friday evening in Ontario.
The Reign tied the score with five minutes, 28 seconds left on a power- play goal by Brett Sutter, a son of Darryl Sutter, who was fired Monday as coach of the Los Angeles Kings, Ontario’s NHL parent team.
Neither team scored in the five-minute overtime, when the Gulls were outshot, 4-1.
The Reign shot first in each round of the shootout. Jonny Brodzinski scored in the first round for Ontario and Spencer Abbott for the Gulls. Gulls goalkeeper Dustin Tokarski stopped Teddy Purcell’s second-round shot and Kevin Roy scored for the Gulls.
The Reign kept the shootout going on Adrian Kempe’s goal, but Ortega scored to win the game for the Gulls before a crowd at Citizens Business Bank Arena announced at 9,491.
Ontario had won both of its shootouts this season before Friday. The Gulls are 4-2 in shootouts.
Gulls center Mitch Hults opened the scoring 1:50 into the first period with the first goal of his five-game professional career. Ortega scored the third goal of his five-game professional career 2:12 into the second period.
The Reign (36-20-10-1) tied the score on second-period goals by Mike Amadio and Purcell.
The Gulls (42-20-3-2) regained the lead on Scott Sabourin’s shorthanded goal with 5:53 left, 25 seconds before Sutter’s goal.
Tokarski (17-8-0-1) stopped 32 of 35 shots for the Gulls, the Anaheim Ducks American Hockey League affiliate.
Jeff Zatkoff (2-3-1-1) stopped 12 of 15 shots for Ontario. The Kings loaned Zatkoff to the Reign Feb. 26 and he played his first game with the team March 1.
The Gulls were scoreless on both their power-play opportunities. They have been scoreless on 11 consecutive power-play opportunities and 23 of their last 24 dating back to their March 22 game against the San Jose Barracuda.
The Gulls killed four of Ontario’s five power-play opportunities, including a 49-second two-man disadvantage in the second period.
Gulls defenseman James Melindy and Reign left wing Joel Lowry drew five- minute major penalties and game misconduct for fighting at the drop of the puck 11:14 into the first period.
Sabourin and Ontario defenseman Matt Roy received five-minute major penalties for their fight at 14:09 of the first period.
Reign defenseman Cameron Schilling received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct 2:24 into the third period for spearing Gulls rookie right wing Deven Sideroff after Sideroff received a two-minute minor penalty for boarding Schilling.
The game was the first of at least five in a row between the two teams. They will conclude the regular season Saturday and open a best-of-five Calder Cup playoff series next Friday, both at Valley View Casino Center.
—City News Service