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Ontario Reign #FancyStats Recap: Mashing Manitoba

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Mersch puts up an 84.3 Corsi For % as Ontario (California) rules Manitoba.

Nick Laham/Getty Images

Now this is how you begin a title defense. After clipping the Condors on opening night, the defending champs drove over the Moose and then backed up during this past weekend's away-and-away.

On Thursday, Ontario overcame seven Manitoba power plays, managing to still outshoot (25-17) and outscore (4-1) their opponent.

[Box Score]

A couple of nights later, top-flight Winnipeg prospect Connor Hellebuyck's 44-save brick wall wasn't enough, as the Reign tipped the Moose in OT 1-0.

[Box Score]

Not that we need any further underscore of Ontario's superiority, but it wasn't until the second period of this third game of their season that the Reign were outshot in a period. Some weekend player observations:

  • Michael Mersch continues to be Ontario's most impactful player night in, night out. Coach Mike Stothers was quick to recognize this, as Mersch was essentially double shifted on Saturday night in Paul Bissonnette's place. The 6'1" winger is tied for the AHL lead in shots: Providence's Frank Vatrano has 20 shots in five gamesand Mersch has matched that figure in just three. Of course, this offensive prowess is already well documented—but he's been a force in every zone and situation. According to Moose play-by-play man Mitch Peacock, this backcheck prevented a sure goal:

He also pulled off this PK pickpocket at least twice in Bakersfield, repeating the feat here:

  • Valentin Zykov is clearly benefiting from skating at Mersch and Nic Dowd's side. That said, the AHL rookie has been no passenger, looking right at home with the league's pace. He's also displayed a heavy shot and quick hands on multiple occasions, capped off by his OT game-winner and first AHL goal:

But as I mentioned last week, the aggressive winger still needs to learn how to channel his energy. Look where the puck is when Zykov is whistled for this holding, negating a Reign man advantage:

All scoring chance and puck possession counts are estimated. Ontario returns to Southern California for their home opener this Friday against Bakersfield.

Even Strength Scoring Chances

10/15/15

1 2 3 TOTAL
ONT 5 2 2 9
MB 2 1 0 3

10/17/15

1 2 3 OT TOTAL
ONT 7 2 9 4 22
MB 2 2 5 1 10

Even Strength Corsi

10/15/15

1 2 3 TOTAL
ONT 16 11 12 39
MB 20 10 6 36

10/17/15

1 2 3 OT TOTAL
ONT 26 14 24 6 70
MB 8 19 17 1 45

Individual Even Strength Corsi

10/15/15

Number Player CF CA CF%
2 K. MacDermid 10 10 50.0%
4 K. Gravel 20 22 47.6%
5 V. LoVerde 11 11 50.0%
6 J. McBain 22 19 53.7%
7 V. Zykov 12 4 75.0%
9 A. Kempe 9 11 45.0%
11 K. Newbury 15 10 60.0%
12 J. Brodzinski 4 11 26.7%
15 P. Bissonnette 0 6 0.0%
16 S. Backman 12 10 54.5%
21 A. Crescenzi 8 15 34.8%
24 R. Horvat 2 9 18.2%
25 S. Sabourin 8 12 40.0%
26 N. Dowd 16 4 80.0%
27 M. Mersch 21 3 87.5%
33 K. Raine 5 6 45.5%
39 J. Auger 8 13 38.1%
55 J. Schultz 10 4 71.4%

10/17/15

Number Player CF CA CF%
2 K. MacDermid 12 14 46.2%
4 K. Gravel 31 15 67.4%
5 V. LoVerde 15 20 42.9%
6 J. McBain 32 13 71.1%
7 V. Zykov 19 8 70.4%
9 A. Kempe 10 15 40.0%
11 K. Newbury 12 21 36.4%
12 J. Brodzinski 13 4 76.5%
15 P. Bissonnette 1 0 100.0%
16 S. Backman 12 17 41.4%
21 A. Crescenzi 23 12 65.7%
24 R. Horvat 17 12 58.6%
25 S. Sabourin 15 13 53.6%
26 N. Dowd 24 9 72.7%
27 M. Mersch 38 8 82.6%
33 K. Raine 21 10 67.7%
39 J. Auger 19 15 55.9%
55 J. Schultz 23 17 57.5%

Lines

10/15/15

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

55 Schultz - 33 Raine

31 Budaj

Manitoba Moose

25 Fraser - 28 Cormier - 10 Armia

15 Halischuk - 19 De Leo - 24 Kosmachuk

17 Lodge - 16 Albert - 34 Lipon

22 Kramer - 9 Olsen - 50 Brassard

44 Melchiori - 8 Kichton

20 Harrison - 3 Kostalek

7 Morrissey - 2 MacWilliam

37 Hellebuyck

10/17/15

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

55 Schultz - 33 Raine

31 Budaj

Manitoba Moose

25 Fraser - 28 Cormier - 10 Armia

15 Halischuk - 9 Olsen - 24 Kosmachuk

17 Lodge - 16 Albert - 34 Lipon

49 Fronk - 19 De Leo - 50 Brassard

44 Melchiori - 8 Kichton

20 Harrison - 3 Kostalek

7 Morrissey - 2 MacWilliam

37 Hellebuyck

Past Recaps

Week 1: Ontario Opens on Top