Sabers drop highway series to Jr Reign

by Jordan Driscoll

To kick off President’s Day Weekend, the San Diego Sabers squared off against the Ontario Jr Reign in back-to-back showdowns on Friday, February 16th, and Saturday, February 17th. Despite putting up a valiant fight, the Sabers faced tough losses on both nights against their formidable opponents, the Jr Reign. 

Friday, Feb. 16 - SD 4, OJR 6

Friday night's game at Ontario Center Ice Arena was a nail-biting affair, ending in a 6-4 victory for the Jr Reign. Although the Sabers took an early lead with Tristan Frizado's goal, the Jr Reign quickly responded with two goals of their own. Thanks to Kash Henkelman's powerplay goal and Jettson Koch's contribution, the Sabers found themselves trailing by the end of the first period. The Jr Reign extended their lead in the second period, leaving the Sabers to play catch-up. Mario Paganini scored to tilt the ice in their favor and Tim Gradin displayed an impressive shorthanded goal. However, despite their best efforts, the Sabers fell short in the third period.

Saturday, Feb. 17 - OJR 5, SD 2

Saturday's game at Carlsbad Icetown saw the Sabers suffer another defeat, this time with a score of 5-2 in favor of the Jr Reign. Although Ryder Heskett managed to score on the powerplay for the Sabers, the Jr Reign dominated the second period with three goals. Justin Quellet's powerplay goal gave the Sabers a glimmer of hope, but the Jr Reign's relentless pressure proved too much to handle. Despite facing a barrage of shots, Sabers' goalie Stepan Vedernikov put up a brave fight, but the Jr Reign ultimately emerged victorious. The game was marred by numerous penalties on both sides.

Although the Sabers faced tough losses over the weekend, they look ahead to their remaining games and remain focused on finishing the season strong. Their final games are against the Shredders, with their final home game taking place on Friday, February 22nd.