Reign Weekend Preview: Home at Last
After three games on the road, the Reign make their home debut this weekend with games against Bakersfield and San Jose.
Ontario has had a way of spoiling home openers so far this year.
The Reign went into central Canada and ruined the Manitoba Moose's home opener last Thursday with a 4-1 triumph. A couple days later, it was the Connor Hellebuyck show as Winnipeg's most prized prospect stopped all but one shot that came his way, losing his shutout bid to Valentin Zykov with 7.8 seconds left in the game.
Now, Ontario is finally making their Southern California debut, and the Condors did their best on Friday night to pay back the Reign for a 5-0 loss in Bakersfield's home opener a couple weeks ago . The Condors zoomed out to a 3-0 lead before the Reign fired back with five unanswered goals to pull out a thrilling 5-4 victory.
This Saturday, Ontario plays host to the San Jose affiliate Barracuda. San Jose is coming off a 3-0 whitewashing by the San Diego Gulls on Friday.
Ontario Reign VS Bakersfield Condors / San Jose Barracuda (Citizens Business Bank Arena)
Time: 7 PM Pacific (Friday), 6 PM Pacific (Saturday)
Watch: AHL Live
Reign (based on last game):
16 Backman - 11 Newbury - 7 Zykov
9 Kempe - 26 Dowd - 27 Mersch
39 Auger - 21 Crescenzi - 25 Sabourin
18 Samuels-Thomas - 24 Horvat - 12 Brodzinski
20 MacDermid - 5 Loverde
4 Gravel - 23 Ebert
55 Schultz - 33 Raine
Paul Bissonnette was hurt over the weekend in Manitoba, so the Reign called up Jordan Samuels-Thomas in response. Even though Budaj played on Friday, Lindsay Czarnecki reports that he's starting again on Saturday.
Barracuda (based on last game)
(HT @jon_allred of Fear the Fin):
38 Haley - 40 Carpenter - 55 Emanuelsson
68 Karlsson - 17 McCarthy - 53 Jevpavols
82 Goldobin - 77 Timmins - 86 Langlois
67 Arseneau - 73 Crane - 84 Parkes
70 Young - 74 DeMelo
45 Cundari - 47 Ryan
51 McNally - 63 Bergman
Scoring-line center Bryan Lerg was recently called up by the parent club; just sent-down Micheal Haley, who already has 4 goals, will certainly figure in this weekend's lineup. Defender Karl Stollery, who was suspended for a game by the AHL for an elbowing incident, is expected to return on Saturday. Dell played on Friday, so Grosenick may face Ontario on Saturday.
12 Hamilton – 26 Drasaitl – 11 Ford
7 Khaira – 39 Yakimov – 17 Miller
23 Christoffer – 10 McRae – 14 Platzer
19 Moroz – 27 Winquist – 22 Kessy
29 Hunt – 28 Gernat
4 Nurse – 15 Oesterle
13 LaLeggia – 6 Musil
The Professor made his Bakersfield debut in Ontario on Friday. Right winger Iiro Pakarinen is up with the Oilers.
- Samuels-Thomas impressed the coaches at training camp and nearly earned a spot on the AHL Reign's roster, but was passed over on the depth chart.
- If Draisaitl sounds like a familiar name, it should be - the 2014 first-rounder was on the Oilers' roster last season before he was eventually deemed not NHL-ready and returned to the Kelowna Rockets partway through the season.
- Team captain Vincent LoVerde and defenseman Nick Ebert return to the Inland Empire for the first time since being members of the ECHL’s Reign.
- LoVerde skated in the ECHL from 2011-13, appearing in 91 games and added 12 goals and 29 assists for 41 points. Ebert dressed in four regular-season and 10 postseason contests during the 2012-13 campaign, totaling 10 points (two goals, eight assists)./
- Ontario: 4-0-0-0, .1000 winning % (Tied-1st Pacific Division, 1st Western Conference)
- Bakersfield: 1-3-0-1, .300 winning % (7th Pacific Division, 13th Western Conference)
- San Jose: 2-2-0-1, .500 winning % (6th Pacific Division, 10th Western Conference)/
Ontario vs. Bakersfield, Head-to-Head in 2015-16