Gulls shut out Ontario for 1st win in Pacific Division finals

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SAN DIEGO — Matt Hackett stopped all 29 shots he faced as the San Diego Gulls defeated the Ontario Reign, 3-0, Sunday night in Ontario, cutting their deficit in the Calder Cup Pacific Division Finals to two games to one.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings American Hockey League affiliates will be played Friday at Valley View Casino Center. The series is alternating venues because of arena availability issues.

Kalle Kossila opened the scoring 18 minutes, 27 seconds in the first period off assists by Antoine Laganiere and Ondrej Kase.

Following a scoreless second period when the Gulls were outshot, 13-10, Nick Ritchie put in a rebound of a shot by Brandon Montour for a power-play goal 8:18 into the third period, one second before Ontario defenseman Jeff Schultz’s cross-checking penalty was to expire.

The goal was the Gulls first on the power-play in 11 chances in the series and ended the Reign’s streak of 19 consecutive penalties killed during the playoffs. Ontario was the AHL’s top penalty killing team during the regular season.

Reign coach Mike Stothers pulled goaltender Peter Budaj in favor of a sixth attacker with 3:39 left, only to have defenseman Jaycob Megna flip the puck from well inside the Gulls blue line for an empty net goal 28 seconds later.

Budaj made 22 saves before a crowd at Citizens Business Bank Arena announced at 5,420.

Hackett started for the third consecutive game in place of the injured Anton Khudobin, who has not dressed for the series because of an upper-body injury sustained in the first-round series-clinching 6-2 victory over the Texas Stars April 29.

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