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Reign #FancyStats Recap: Ontario Opens On Top

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Mersch stars as the Reign roll on opening night.

Bobak Ha'Eri. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons.

The Ontario Reign kicked off their Calder Cup defense and inaugural season in style last Saturday, dominating Edmonton affiliate Bakersfield Condors 5-0.

[Box Score]

The Condors never had a chance. Ontario's defensive discipline was stifling, while their forecheck feasted. Ultimately, Bakersfield was doomed by their own carelessness with the puck and netminder Laurent Brossoit's poor rebound control. Some player observations:

  • Mersch was magnificent, demonstrating that he was neither fazed by his demotion nor the loss of star linemates Jordan Weal and Brian O'Neill. He created multiple scoring chances with his forecheck, including a couple while shorthanded. Looking at home with new linemates Nic Dowd and Valentin Zykov, he led the team with seven shots on goal. The most impactful forward on either side, this was a statement game by the strapping winger. Check out his quick hands and feet here:

  • Zykov didn't look out of place in his AHL debut, slipping free for a pair of Grade-A scoring chances. However, he once again fell victim to his zeal, taking a first period offensive zone hooking which Bakersfield color man Ryan Holt accurately characterized as "kind of a silly penalty to take." This was a problem at the recent rookie games too.
  • Also making his pro debut, Kurtis MacDermid did a lot of things right, displaying his trademark physicality and strength with a couple of bone-crunching checks. More importantly, he moved the puck reasonably well. Perhaps not surprisingly, however, the former Erie Otter took himself dramatically out of position once while going for a big hit. As an isolated incident, it's no big deal, but it's something to monitor with this aggressive defender.

Before we get to the game's scoring chance and puck possession stats, please keep in mind that all figures are estimated. After all, this is the stream I'm dealing withit's an arena cam:

I didn't edit the clip; that's the segue.

The Reign continue play on Thursday in Manitoba.

Even Strength Scoring Chances

1 2 3 TOTAL
ONT 7 6 2 15
BAK 2 2 2 6

Even Strength Corsi

1 2 3 TOTAL
ONT 22 23 11 56
BAK 13 19 11 43

Individual Even Strength Corsi

Number Player CF CA CF%
2 K. MacDermid 15 18 45.5%
4 K. Gravel 22 19 53.7%
5 V. LoVerde 14 17 45.2%
6 J. McBain 26 17 60.5%
7 V. Zykov 15 10 60.0%
9 A. Kempe 18 12 60.0%
11 K. Newbury 17 15 53.1%
12 J. Brodzinski 6 6 50.0%
15 P. Bissonnette 7 4 63.6%
16 S. Backman 14 13 51.9%
21 A. Crescenzi 8 12 40.0%
23 N. Ebert 16 9 64.0%
24 R. Horvat 8 6 57.1%
25 S. Sabourin 12 13 48.0%
26 N. Dowd 24 12 66.7%
27 M. Mersch 19 13 59.4%
33 K. Raine 19 6 76.0%
39 J. Auger 8 12 40.0%

Lines

Ontario Reign

9 Kempe - 11 Newbury - 16 Backman

27 Mersch - 26 Dowd - 7 Zykov

39 Auger - 21 Crescenzi - 25 Sabourin

15 Bissonnette - 24 Horvat - 12 Brodzinski

2 MacDermid - 5 Loverde

4 Gravel - 6 McBain

23 Ebert - 33 Raine

31 Budaj

Bakersfield Condors

17 Miller - 26 Draisaitl - 25 Pakarinen

27 Winquist - 39 Yakimov - 9 Pitlick

19 Moroz - 10 McRae - 11 Ford

23 Christoffer - 7 Khaira - 14 Platzer

4 Nurse - 13 LaLeggia

15 Oesterle - 29 Hunt

24 Pageau - 6 Musil

31 Brossoit