The San Diego Gulls beat the Ontario Reign eight times in 12 tries in the regular season. The Calder Cup Playoffs, however, have been a different story. The Reign came from behind to beat the Gulls 2-1 in overtime and take control of their 7-game series.
Nick Ritchie put the Gulls on the board in the 1st period when he buried the puck on a beautiful pass from Chris Mueller. In their previous 13 meetings this year (including the Calder Cup Playoffs) the team that scored first had won every single time.
Gulls goalie Matt Hackett made it stand up through the second period, making San Diego hockey fans think this game was in the bag. The Gulls were 31-0-0-0 this season when leading at the 2nd intermission. But the Reign got a power play goal early in the third period to tie the game at one and it was eventually headed to sudden death overtime.
Halfway through the extra period Justin Auger finally got one through Hackett, who made 43 saves, to give Ontario a 2-1 win and a 2-0 series lead.
There is no rest for the weary. Game 3 is Sunday night back up in Ontario. If the Gulls don’t win that one they’ll have to beat the team that had the best record in the Western Conference four times in a row to win the series.