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Gulls bounce back, blank Reign in Game 3

Quickly bouncing back from a disheartening loss 24 hours earlier, the San Diego Gulls got in the win column with a 3-0 victory over the host Ontario Reign in Game 3 of the Pacific Division Finals on Sunday evening.

With the Reign still holding a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, the teams are now off until Game 4 in San Diego on Friday night.

Just as they did in Game 2 on Saturday, the Gulls scored in the first period and carried that 1-0 lead into the third. This time, however, there would be no Reign comeback as Matt Hackett (2-2) finished with 29 saves for his second career Calder Cup Playoff shutout.

In Game 3, it was Kalle Kossila scoring at 18:27 of the opening frame, punching in the rebound of an Antoine Laganiere shot for his second goal of the series and of the postseason.

While an insurance goal never came on Saturday, Nick Ritchie doubled San Diego’s lead with one second remaining on a power play in Game 3, cleaning up the rebound of Brandon Montour’s shot from between the circles at 8:18 of the third period.

It was Ritchie’s fifth goal of the playoffs, giving him a point in each of his seven games played this postseason, and was also the first power-play tally allowed by the Reign in 20 chances this postseason.

Ontario pulled Peter Budaj for an extra attacker with 3:39 to play, but Jaycob Megna found the empty net from inside his own blue line at 16:49 to make it 3-0.

Budaj (5-2) made 22 saves in the loss.

Pacific Division Finals – Series “L” (best-of-7)
P1-Ontario Reign vs. P2-San Diego Gulls
Game 1 – Thu., May 5 – ONTARIO 5, San Diego 3
Game 2 – Sat., May 7 – Ontario 2, SAN DIEGO 1 (OT)
Game 3 – Sun., May 8 – San Diego 3, ONTARIO 0
Game 4 – Fri., May 13 – Ontario at San Diego, 10:05
*Game 5 – Sat., May 14 – San Diego at Ontario, 10:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 16 – Ontario at San Diego, 10:05
*Game 7 – Wed., May 18 – San Diego at Ontario, 10:00 
   *if necessary… All times Eastern