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Ontario Reign: #FancyStats 1st Quarter Review

Reign scoring chances, Corsi, and faceoff data at the quarter mark: Michael Mersch pushes chances and possession, Nic Dowd dominates on the draw. Also, Mersch tells us about his amazing goal against San Diego and Chris Hajt talks about Kevin Gravel & Zac Leslie.

David Sheehan (Courtesy of Ontario Reign)

Here are estimated Ontario Reign scoring chance, Corsi, and faceoff counts at the quarter mark of the season.

This weekend, the Reign are in Charlotte for a back-to-back against the Checkers.

Team Even Strength Corsi/Scoring Chances

GP SCF SCA SCF% CF CA CF%
ONT 17 199 147 57.51% 854 729 53.95%

Individual Even Strength Corsi/Scoring Chances


Number Player GP iSCF CF CA CF%
3 D. Forbort 2 0 53 25 67.95%
4 K. Gravel 17 2 307 276 52.66%
5 V. LoVerde 17 3 275 257 51.69%
6 J. McBain 3 3 80 49 62.02%
7 V. Zykov 17 19 254 143 63.98%
8 Z. Leslie 3 1 34 29 53.97%
9 A. Kempe 17 11 179 205 46.61%
11 K. Newbury 5 6 76 67 53.15%
12 J. Brodzinski 17 14 176 150 53.99%
14 D. Arnold 4 3 38 40 48.72%
15 P. Bissonnette 6 1 32 30 51.61%
16 S. Backman 17 18 204 210 49.28%
17 K. Miller 1 0 9 0 100.00%
18 J. Samuels-Thomas 14 12 160 157 50.47%
20 K. MacDermid 17 1 230 216 51.57%
21 A. Crescenzi 16 11 195 204 48.87%
23 N. Ebert 13 1 219 190 53.55%
24 R. Horvat 16 7 158 142 52.67%
25 S. Sabourin 17 10 151 161 48.40%
26 N. Dowd 17 23 321 195 62.21%
27 M. Mersch 17 37 356 197 64.38%
28 J. Lowry 5 0 26 28 48.15%
33 K. Raine 14 0 202 163 55.34%
39 J. Auger 17 16 174 207 45.67%
55 J. Schultz 16 0 277 235 54.10%

Faceoffs

Recorded from October 31, 2015 on:

Number Name FOW FOL FO%
9 A. Kempe 31 51 37.8%
14 D. Arnold 6 18 25.0%
21 A. Crescenzi 77 73 51.3%
24 R. Horvat 43 34 55.8%
26 N. Dowd 144 104 58.1%

Notes

  • Michael Mersch

I asked Mersch about this jawdropping goal that he scored against San Diego last weekend:

"We work on that type of stuff at practice...so it's almost instinct. I was just fortunate that there was nobody on my backhand side.

"You work on different moves, try to be a little crafty. You got to think a little outside the box if you're going to score goals.

"I make some of it up myself and kind of pick some of it off other players. There's always puck protection involved with it. You're trying to shield the puck away from opponents.

If Gretzky's office was behind the net, Mersch's is clearly in front:

"I like watching hockey...I watch around the net. The puck's around maybe the blueline, and I'm watching around the net.

"There's no one in particular [I watch now]. Any guy who plays in front of the net on the power play or that kind of power game."

In a previous interview with JFTC, Mersch had cited Tomas Holmstrom as a model for his game.

Finally, had he ever scored a goal like this at any level?

"I had an interesting one in college...I've seen it on YouTube. It was against Michigan."

  • Chris Hajt on Kevin Gravel

I asked Assistant Coach Chris Hajt what defenseman Gravel has to work on to make the NHL:

"Just his overall game. He's a good skater, he's got a real good stick, one of the best sticks in the league."

Gravel took a big leap last season, when he went from occasional scratch to regular during Manchester's Calder Cup-winning turn. What did he improve?

"His determination and his ability to play in certain situations. He was very versatile being able to play 4-on-4 and the left side and the right side." Hajt expanded on Gravel's versatility, "That's very valuable as a defenseman when you can play both sides...he just kept getting better and better in terms of his consistency and how he played everyday.

"As a left handed shot, no matter what, you're probably going to be better on your left side. But we feel comfortable with him on both sides."

Finally, does Hajt see any parallels between his game as a player and Gravel's? Both were tall, long defensive defenseman, who focused on airtight positional play:

"Maybe the only thing would be the stick. I felt like I had a really good stick when I played.

"He's a very explosive guy off the ice [with his jumping and training]...and with his skating, being able to close on guys. So he's definitely a step up from me with my slow skating. He has that explosive power."

  • Chris Hajt on Zac Leslie

Leslie is Ontario's most aggressive defenseman on the rush. Here's just one of many examples:

Hajt agreed. He actually has a long history with Leslie: "I was fortunate enough to coach him in Guelph as a 17, 18-year-old and see him as a 19-year-old as an assistant GM. That's always been part of his game...He likes to be involved in the offensive play."

Learning when to attack or back off is difficult, especially when transitioning levels, but so far, Leslie has been solid. "He's done a really good job of understanding when to go in and when to get out. That's half the battle of realizing when a possible turnover can happen off the rush or when there's danger.

"We want [all the defensemen] involved in the rush, we want them involved in the play. It's part of our game. Zac really likes that part. He concentrates on it as much as anybody."

We got a glimpse of Leslie's upside against Stockton:

Leslie

  • Chris Hajt on Being Swept

It was a rough weekend for the Reign, as San Diego swept the home-and-home. How did Hajt and Head Coach Mike Stothers greet the players when they returned to practice on Monday?

"You make it known that losing isn't okay. But at the same time, you're not dwelling on it.

"We have a great leadership group that understands that. You're going to have games when you're not going to play your best.

"How do you move forward from it? It's the next day. The sun comes up."

Not surprisingly, this is lockstep with Stothers's normal "big picture" philosophy.

  • Justin Auger

Auger is intriguing because of his 6'7" frame, but these flashes suggest he may have something more. This is a highly-touted defenseman he's taking on in San Antonio's Nikita Zadorov:

Auger

  • Adrian Kempe

It's clear that Kempe's skating is more than NHL-caliber, but this is the kind of thing he has to work on to crack the Kings' lineup sooner than later.

11/20/15

AHL Live stream cut out during 2nd period from 20:00-18:31, 16:08-15:42, 8:51-8:10. 3rd period from 19:54-19:03.

[Box Score]

Even Strength Scoring Chances

1 2 3 OT TOTAL
ONT 5 4 8 3 20
SA 2 3 1 0 6

Even Strength Scoring Corsi

1 2 3 OT TOTAL
ONT 26 12 20 3 61
SA 12 11 13 0 36

Faceoffs

Name FOW FOL FO%
A. Kempe 2 8 20.0%
A. Crescenzi 8 7 53.3%
R. Horvat 6 1 85.7%
N. Dowd 17 7 70.8%

Individual Even Strength Corsi

Number Player CF CA CF%
4 K. Gravel 18 13 58.1%
5 V. LoVerde 22 12 64.7%
7 V. Zykov 13 5 72.2%
9 A. Kempe 18 10 64.3%
12 J. Brodzinski 15 4 78.9%
16 S. Backman 17 11 60.7%
18 J. Samuels-Thomas 12 8 60.0%
20 K. MacDermid 19 11 63.3%
21 A. Crescenzi 17 9 65.4%
23 N. Ebert 20 12 62.5%
24 R. Horvat 8 8 50.0%
25 S. Sabourin 7 8 46.7%
26 N. Dowd 23 11 67.6%
27 M. Mersch 23 11 67.6%
28 J. Lowry 7 5 58.3%
33 K. Raine 20 16 55.6%
39 J. Auger 20 11 64.5%
55 J. Schultz 20 12 62.5%

Lines

Ontario Reign

39 Auger - 9 Kempe - 16 Backman

27 Mersch - 26 Dowd - 12 Brodzinski

18 Samuels-Thomas - 21 Crescenzi - 7 Zykov

28 Lowry - 24 Horvat - 25 Sabourin

20 MacDermid - 5 LoVerde

4 Gravel - 33 Raine

55 Schultz - 23 Ebert

31 Budaj

32 Emery

San Antonio Rampage

28 Agozzino - 25 Cliche - 96 Rantanen

71 Rendulic - 37 Smith - 48 Petryk

58 Bordeleau - 38 Hishon - 11 Bourke

24 Schumacher - 42 Henley - 44 Maggio

15 Siemens - 6 Zadorov

3 Bigras - 54 Labrie

4 Geertsen - 26 Noreau

30 Martin

35 Will

11/21/15

[Box Score]

Even Strength Scoring Chances

1 2 3 TOTAL
ONT 7 2 4 13
TX 6 4 5 15

Even Strength Scoring Corsi

1 2 3 TOTAL
ONT 26 14 10 50
TX 24 17 22 63

Faceoffs

Name FOW FOL FO%
A. Kempe 4 10 28.6%
A. Crescenzi 8 10 44.4%
R. Horvat 1 6 14.3%
N. Dowd 16 17 48.5%

Individual Even Strength Corsi

Number Player CF CA CF%
4 K. Gravel 20 22 47.6%
5 V. LoVerde 15 22 40.5%
7 V. Zykov 11 14 44.0%
9 A. Kempe 14 19 42.4%
12 J. Brodzinski 16 16 50.0%
16 S. Backman 14 20 41.2%
18 J. Samuels-Thomas 14 19 42.4%
20 K. MacDermid 11 14 44.0%
21 A. Crescenzi 15 15 50.0%
23 N. Ebert 17 26 39.5%
24 R. Horvat 3 11 21.4%
25 S. Sabourin 4 10 28.6%
26 N. Dowd 18 18 50.0%
27 M. Mersch 20 21 48.8%
28 J. Lowry 4 7 36.4%
33 K. Raine 18 18 50.0%
39 J. Auger 14 15 48.3%
55 J. Schultz 19 25 43.2%

Lines

Ontario Reign

39 Auger - 9 Kempe - 16 Backman

27 Mersch - 26 Dowd - 12 Brodzinski

18 Samuels-Thomas - 21 Crescenzi - 7 Zykov

28 Lowry - 24 Horvat - 25 Sabourin

20 MacDermid - 5 LoVerde

4 Gravel - 33 Raine

55 Schultz - 23 Ebert

32 Emery

31 Budaj

Texas Stars

34 Shore - 23 Morin - 19 Ranford

16 McKenzie - 29 Faksa - 27 Rallo

38 Dickinson - 10 Dowling - 28 Stransky

8 Kane - 14 Smith - 11 Troock

3 Lindell -4 Johns

13 Nemeth - 12 Blacker

5 Backman - 6 Honka

40 Muse

1 Campbell

11/25/15

[Recap]

Even Strength Scoring Chances

1 2 3 TOTAL
STK 0 3 2 5
ONT 4 3 2 9

Even Strength Scoring Corsi

1 2 3 TOTAL
STK 13 22 15 50
ONT 14 18 12 44

Faceoffs

Name FOW FOL FO%
A. Kempe 4 7 36.4%
J. Brodzinski 0 1 0.0%
D. Arnold 1 6 14.3%
R. Horvat 5 6 45.5%
N. Dowd 9 12 42.9%

Individual Even Strength Corsi

Number Player CF CA CF%
4 K. Gravel 13 13 50.0%
5 V. LoVerde 11 17 39.3%
7 V. Zykov 11 13 45.8%
8 Z. Leslie 15 14 51.7%
9 A. Kempe 7 19 26.9%
12 J. Brodzinski 16 10 61.5%
14 D. Arnold 8 6 57.1%
16 S. Backman 9 18 33.3%
18 J. Samuels-Thomas 16 14 53.3%
20 K. MacDermid 13 19 40.6%
23 N. Ebert 18 18 50.0%
24 R. Horvat 15 12 55.6%
25 S. Sabourin 6 8 42.9%
26 N. Dowd 15 14 51.7%
27 M. Mersch 15 13 53.6%
28 J. Lowry 6 5 54.5%
39 J. Auger 7 18 28.0%
55 J. Schultz 18 19 48.6%

Lines

Ontario Reign

39 Auger - 9 Kempe - 16 Backman

27 Mersch - 26 Dowd - 7 Zykov

18 Samuels-Thomas - 24 Horvat - 12 Brodzinski

28 Lowry - 14 Arnold - 25 Sabourin

20 MacDermid - 5 LoVerde

4 Gravel - 8 Leslie

55 Schultz - 23 Ebert

31 Budaj

32 Emery

Stockton Heat

9 Hathaway - 26 Granlund - 15 Agostino

13 Elson - 27 Grant - 21 Poirier

11 Hamilton - 23 Shore - 20 Carroll

18 Klimchuk - 46 Arnold - 25 Riley

2 Kulak - 33 Nakladal

43 Smid - 7 Morrison

4 Kylington - 5 Wotherspoon

30 Simpson

39 Nagle

11/27/15

AHL Live stream cut out during 3rd period from 13:00-11:30.

[Box Score]

Even Strength Scoring Chances

1 2 3 TOTAL
ONT 1 1 1 3
SD 3 3 1 7

Even Strength Scoring Corsi

1 2 3 TOTAL
ONT 11 10 5 26
SD 12 12 15 39

Faceoffs

Name FOW FOL FO%
A. Kempe 5 5 50.0%
D. Arnold 1 3 25.0%
A. Crescenzi 9 6 60.0%
N. Dowd 18 7 72.0%

Individual Even Strength Corsi

Number Player CF CA CF%
4 K. Gravel 10 15 40.0%
5 V. LoVerde 10 10 50.0%
7 V. Zykov 6 10 37.5%
9 A. Kempe 6 14 30.0%
12 J. Brodzinski 8 15 34.8%
14 D. Arnold 4 5 44.4%
16 S. Backman 7 9 43.8%
18 J. Samuels-Thomas 7 12 36.8%
20 K. MacDermid 8 6 57.1%
21 A. Crescenzi 8 11 42.1%
23 N. Ebert 8 16 33.3%
25 S. Sabourin 4 4 50.0%
26 N. Dowd 8 9 47.1%
27 M. Mersch 8 9 47.1%
28 J. Lowry 5 4 55.6%
33 K. Raine 11 15 42.3%
39 J. Auger 6 14 30.0%
55 J. Schultz 5 16 23.8%

Lines

Ontario Reign

39 Auger - 9 Kempe - 16 Backman

27 Mersch - 26 Dowd - 7 Zykov

18 Samuels-Thomas - 21 Crescenzi - 12 Brodzinski

28 Lowry - 14 Arnold - 25 Sabourin

20 MacDermid - 5 LoVerde

4 Gravel - 33 Raine

55 Schultz - 23 Ebert

31 Budaj

32 Emery

San Diego Gulls

14 Bonis – 18 Sgarbossa – 12 Friberg

19 Cramarossa - 21 Thompson - 34 Jackman

28 Laganiere - 22 Bailey - 16 McGrattan

17 Kerdiles - 15 Mueller - 11 Noesen

24 Megna - 26 Montour

5 S. O'Brien - 27 Theodore

25 A. O'Brien - 2 Bickel

31 Hackett

30 Faragher

11/28/15

AHL Live stream cut out during 2nd period from 3:52-3:20. 3rd period from 7:08-6:39, 3:37-2:43, 0:36-0:00.

[Recap]

Even Strength Scoring Chances

1 2 3 TOTAL
SD 1 3 3 7
ONT 3 2 2 7

Even Strength Scoring Corsi

1 2 3 TOTAL
SD 5 17 9 31
ONT 10 21 8 39

Faceoffs

Name FOW FOL FO%
V. Zykov 0 1 0.0%
A. Kempe 6 3 66.7%
A. Crescenzi 7 10 41.2%
R. Horvat 3 2 60.0%
S. Sabourin 0 1 0.0%
N. Dowd 8 11 42.1%
M. Mersch 0 1 0.0%

Individual Even Strength Corsi

Number Player CF CA CF%
4 K. Gravel 13 16 44.8%
5 V. LoVerde 14 7 66.7%
7 V. Zykov 10 10 50.0%
8 Z. Leslie 15 13 53.6%
9 A. Kempe 8 8 50.0%
12 J. Brodzinski 8 9 47.1%
15 P. Bissonnette 14 1 93.3%
16 S. Backman 6 8 42.9%
18 J. Samuels-Thomas 8 9 47.1%
20 K. MacDermid 16 8 66.7%
21 A. Crescenzi 10 6 62.5%
24 R. Horvat 12 5 70.6%
25 S. Sabourin 14 2 87.5%
26 N. Dowd 10 12 45.5%
27 M. Mersch 11 12 47.8%
33 K. Raine 8 10 44.4%
39 J. Auger 6 8 42.9%
55 J. Schultz 12 9 57.1%

Lines

Ontario Reign

39 Auger - 9 Kempe - 16 Backman

27 Mersch - 26 Dowd - 12 Brodzinski

18 Samuels-Thomas - 21 Crescenzi - 7 Zykov

15 Bissonnette - 24 Horvat - 25 Sabourin

20 MacDermid - 5 LoVerde

4 Gravel - 8 Leslie

55 Schultz - 33 Raine

31 Budaj

32 Emery

San Diego Gulls

14 Bonis – 18 Sgarbossa – 12 Friberg

19 Cramarossa - 21 Thompson - 34 Jackman

28 Laganiere - 22 Bailey - 16 McGrattan

17 Kerdiles - 15 Mueller - 11 Noesen

24 Megna - 26 Montour

5 S. O'Brien - 27 Theodore

25 A. O'Brien - 2 Bickel

30 Faragher

1 White

Past Reign #FancyStats Recaps

Week 1: Ontario Opens on Top

Week 2: Mashing Manitoba

Week 3: Sweet Home Ontario

Week 4-5: Ontario Rolls On

Week 6: Ontario Hiccups