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Firebirds beat Reign 3-2 to take Game 1 of Pacific Division Finals

The Coachella Valley Firebirds beat the Ontario Reign 3-2 to start their Pacific Division Finals series on Wednesday.

Check Out Our Firebirds Section for Full Coverage

The Reign opened up scoring early in the 1st period.

The Firebirds answered back late in the period, thanks to goals from the captain Max McCormick and Devin Shore.

Defender Jimmy Schuldt scored in the 2nd period to put the Firebirds up 3-1.

Ontario brought the game within one nearly 20 seconds into the 3rd period.

Chris Driedger Makes 29 Saves in Victory Against Ontario 

But the Firebirds were able to withstand the Reign's comeback. They'll be back at Acrisure Arena for Game 2 on Friday. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM.

Coachella Valley will host the first two games of the best-of-five series. The series will then head to Ontario for Game 3 on May 19. If necessary, Game 4 would also take place in Ontario. The series would return to Coachella Valley for Game 5 on May 26.

Game 1 – Wed., May 15 – Ontario at Coachella Valley, 7:00
Game 2 – Fri., May 17 – Ontario at Coachella Valley, 7:00
Game 3 – Sun., May 19 – Coachella Valley at Ontario, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., May 24 – Coachella Valley at Ontario, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 26 – Ontario at Coachella Valley, 3:00
*if necessary

Click here for playoff tickets. For the road games, watch parties will be held at the Showroom at Spotlight 29 Casino. Doors open one hour before puck drop. The events are open to all ages.

It's a match between the 1st and the 3rd seed and the Firebirds' first-ever playoff matchup against a California team.

The Firebirds arrive to the series with a three-game winning streak after putting away the Calgary Wranglers.

Unlike the Firebirds, the Reign did not get a first-round bye, but they do come in to the series with an undefeated 5-0 record following back-to-back sweeps.

The two teams have a bit of a rivalry, being about 80 miles apart, but it's not something that has fully blown up, but this series is sure to take it to a new level.

"Rivalries usually don’t start until you face a team in the playoffs. So, I guess this one can start now," said Firebirds Head Coach Dan Bylsma.

The Firebirds have faired pretty well against the Reign in the team's brief two-season history. In the 2022-23 season, Coachella Valley went 5-1-0-2 vs. Ontario. This season was a bit closer, the Firebirds had a 4-2-2 record against the Reign and the Firebirds have won the last two matchups.

Their most recent matchup was on April 10, when Coachella Valley won 3-1 to clinch the Pacific Division crown and a first-round bye.

Stay with News Channel 3 for full coverage of the Firebirds and their quest for the Calder Cup.

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