The Reign are in North Carolina enjoying some BBQ for a two-game stint versus the Charlotte Checkers. As the Manchester Monarchs, they played in the same time zone but evidently Charlotte was too close to make sense so the AHL decided that after moving 3000 miles, playing the Checkers was a thing that should happen.
Anyway, here's the preview for the Ontario in Charlotte games this weekend,
Ontario Reign Lines
9 Kempe - 11 Newbury - 16 Backman
27 Mersch - 26 Dowd - 39 Auger
18 Samuels-Thomas - 21 Crescenzi - 7 Zykov
15 Bissonnette - 24 Horvat - 25 Sabourin
20 MacDermid - 5 Loverde
4 Gravel - 33 Raine
55 Schultz - 23 Ebert
- Per Lindsay Czarnecki of Ontario Reign Insider, center Kris Newbury, who has missed the last several weeks with a broken foot, is slated to draw back into the lineup this weekend and Stothers decided to do a little line shuffling, moving 6'7" Auger to Michael Mersch and Nic Dowd's line.
- Auger normally plays LW but I'm assuming he's going to play RW since Mersch is a LW.
- Newbury's return also signals the move for Kempe back to wing, though Stothers has said multiple he believes Kempe could eventually become a good centerman.
- Czarnecki also noted that Joel Lowry, who spent the first part of the season recovering from back surgery, has been sent down to Manchester, Ray Emery has been released from his PTO and the Reign have recalled Michael Houser.
- Ontario will look to bounce back from being swept by the Gulls and going 0-7 on the PP, where they've really shone so far this season.
Charlotte Checkers Lines
11 Boychuk - 10 Ryan - 14 Shugg
21 Woods - 12 Sutter - 16 Tolchinsky
18 Hagel - 38 Wohlberg - 24 Brown
26 Sandlak - 33 Karlsson - 25 Bowman
5 Carrick - 9 Biega
4 Lowe - 6 Murphy
27 Chelios - 36 Cornell
- The bloodlines are way too fun on this team. Jake Chelios's dad is Chris, Keegan Lowe's dad is Kevin, Patrick Brown's dad is Doug, Carter Sandlak's dad is Jim, and another day, another Sutter...Brody Sutter's father is Duane, his uncle Darryl.
- And apparently, Erik Karlsson slums it as a checking forward in the Carolina Hurricanes system. Just kidding. Poor Erik—the Charlotte one—I'm sure that's like the 1000th time he's heard that joke.
- The Checkers are led by 2008 first-round pick Zach Boychuk, 2015 SHL MVP Derek Ryan, and 2011 first-round pick Ryan Murphy.
- Don't overlook MacIntyre who has been absolutely solid for Charlotte and has even stolen the last couple of games for them.
- Dating back to last season, the Checkers have won eight consecutive shootouts. Thus far this (regular) season, none of the Reign games have actually made it past 3v3 OT, so I don't know how they'd do but I wouldn't pin my hopes on Ontario coming out on top.