In his 2018-19 debut with Ontario, Austin Wagner capitalized on rookie left wing Max Jones’ unsuccessful attempt to clear the puck from the Gulls zone to break a 1-1 tie with nine minutes, 25 seconds left in the third period.
“The whole game it goes well and then one costly turnover in the back of our net,” said Jones, who was chosen by the Anaheim Ducks, the Gulls NHL parent team, in the first round of the 2016 draft.
“It’s my fault and I know that. I expect better out of myself, my teammates do, and I take full responsibility for that.”
Wagner was assigned to the Reign earlier Saturday by their NHL parent team, the Los Angeles Kings, after going without a point in eight games.
Sam Herr put a shot from between the faceoff circles past Gulls goaltender Kevin Boyle with 9:16 remaining for his first goal of the season in his 10 games with Ontario.
Jones pulled the Gulls to within 3-2 as he scored his first regular-season goal as a professional with 2:54 to play. He had scored in the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs after his junior team’s season ended.
Gulls coach Dallas Eakins pulled Boyle in favor of an extra attacker following Jones’ goal in an attempt to tie the score. Reign goaltender Cal Petersen turned away scoring chances from Kalle Kossila and Sam Carrick.
Sheldon Rempal, returned on loan to Ontario from the Kings Thursday, skated out of the Reign zone with the puck and passed to Brett Sutter who put the puck into the empty net with 56 seconds left.
Sutter is a son of former Kings coach Darryl Sutter, who guided the team to the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014.
The loss ended the Gulls streak of five consecutive games with a standings point. They were 3-0-1-1 during the streak.
The Gulls (3-3-1-1) scored the only goal of the first period on defenseman Josh Mahura’s power-play goal, his first goal in his eight-game professional career.
Ontario (3-4-2-1) scored the only goal of the second period as Zack Mitchell put in a rebound of a blocked shot.
The Gulls led in shots, 31-27, including a 15-6 advantage in the third period.
Petersen (2-2-2-1) made 29 saves. Boyle (1-2-0-0) made 23 before a crowd at Citizens Business Bank Arena announced at 9,457.
The Gulls killed all five of the Reign’s power-play opportunities and scored on one of their four.
Left wing Ben Thomson participated in his first fight of the season and the Gulls third, brawling with Ontario left wing Bokondji Imama with 2:23 left in the first period. Both players received five-minute major penalties.
The Gulls will conclude their two-game road trip Wednesday at Tucson. The Gulls are 0-2-1-0 against the Roadrunners this season and 0-5-1-0 against the Arizona Coyotes AHL affiliate dating back to last season.
The Gulls next home game at the Valley View Casino Center will be Friday against the Colorado Eagles, the Colorado Avalanche’s AHL affiliate.
— City News Service