Ontario Reign vs Lake Erie Monsters - Game 1 Preview
It's Columbus vs LA - well their farm teams anyway - as the Reign and Monsters meet for the first time (this season).
Ontario Reign vs Lake Erie Monsters
Series: 0-0 (best of 7)
Day: May 21, 2016 (Citizens Business Bank Arena)
Time: 8:00 PM PST
Watch: AHL Live
Ontario Reign Lines
(Projected, based on last game)
Adrian Kempe – Nic Dowd – Joel Lowry
Michael Mersch – Mike Amadio – Sean Backman
Jordan Samuels-Thomas – Andrew Crescenzi – Justin Auger
Ryan Horvat – Kris Newbury – Paul Bissonnette
Kurtis MacDermid – Vincent LoVerde
Derek Forbort – Kevin Gravel
Jeff Schultz – Zach Leslie
Unlike the NHL, the AHL has a far less balanced schedule with teams seeing divisional opponents up to 15 times in the regular season. While they haven't met in regular season play since moving to the Pacific Division, these two teams are not wholly unfamiliar with each other as the Manchester Monarchs played against the Springfield Falcons a few times last year.
The format for this round has switched to a 2-3-2 format. Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch excellently detailed the reason behind it.
Rookie Swede Adrian Kempe is heating up and he's currently tied for second on the team with 5 points.
Unsurprisingly, Justin Auger, Michael Mersch and blueliner Kevin Gravel also have 5 points.
The Reign have a very middling power play while the Monsters have a very middling penalty kill. It should be an interesting matchup.
Update: Players suiting up appear to be the same as last game.
Lake Erie Monsters
Update: Coach Jared Bednar was very coy about who would draw the Game One start. Right now, Anton Forsberg is taking all the shots.