Weekend Rewind: Mersch setting pace, PK human - LA Kings Insider

The Reign picked up the all-important four points in their two-game road trip to Texas over the weekend, defeating the San Antonio Rampage 4-3 in overtime on Friday, followed by a 7-6 thriller on Saturday against the Texas Stars.

Following the AHL weekend slate, the Reign (10-2-2-0) are first in the Pacific Division, and first in the Western Conference with a winning percentage of .786.

Highlights from San Antonio:

Highlights from Texas:

The Michael Mersch Meter
Michael Mersch had three goals on the weekend, extending his team goal-scoring lead to nine as he continues to be the measuring stick on the Reign as to which forward looks most NHL-ready.

The left winger’s net-front presence is certainly something to keep an eye on. Two out of his three in Texas were right on the doorstep, the most emphatic being the diving OT winner where he jumped on a rebound.

For the record, Adrian Kempe and an unlikely candidate in Jordan Samuels-Thomas are second in goals with five apiece.

Circle that
Center Nic Dowd has officially emerged as the go-to faceoff guy in the clinch.

Dowd’s clean overtime faceoff win in the Rampage zone set up Vincent LoVerde’s drive off the boards that resulted in Mersch’s winner and again against Texas, Dowd won a crucial endzone faceoff with 4.9 seconds left to ice the game.

Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, this is a great Q&A that Sheng Peng of SB Nation’s Jewels from the Crown did with Dowd recently.

Penalty kill is human
The one thing we did learn over the weekend is that the Reign penalty kill has a human side to it. Ontario gave up four power play goals in the two games, which was more than their first 12 games combined where they allowed just three.

Certainly it doesn’t help that they had issues staying out of the box: eight penalties vs San Antonio and nine vs Texas. Of those 17 total penalties, 13 resulted in power play opportunities for the opposition due to a few sets of coincidental minors.

Still, the Reign are right up there when it comes to PK percentage at 89.7, good for third in the AHL.

What the future holds
After giving up six goals in Saturday’s win, head coach Mike Stothers said the team looked like it needed a few practices to button things up a bit, but did reinforce that there was no overall concern.

They’ll next play host to the Stockton Heat (the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

The Reign own the edge on the Heat this season, a 4-0 road win on Nov. 7.

Kurtis MacDermid

#56 | 6′ 5″ | 233 lb | Age: 23

Born: March 25, 1994
Birthplace: Sauble Beach, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


MacDermid was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on Sept. 12, 2012.

Michael Amadio

#52 | 6′ 1″ | 204 lb | Age: 21

Born: May 13, 1996
Birthplace: Sault Ste. Marie, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Amadio was selected by the Kings in the third round (90th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Lintuniemi

#10 | 6′ 3″ | 214 lb | Age: 21

Born: DOB: 9/23/1995
Position: D


Lintuniemi played in 27 games for the HIFK U18 team in Helsinki at 15-years-old, as well as seven games with the Finland U16 team. He made his professional hockey debut with the Monarchs in 2015, and has since begun playing for the Reign.

Brett Sutter

#07 | 6′ 0″ | 192 lb | Age: 29

Born: 6/2/1987
Birthplace: CALGARY, AB
Position: C


Drafted in 2005 by the Calgary Flames, Sutter was traded to the Reign in 2016. He is the son of LA Kings head couch Darryl Sutter, and the eighth member of the Sutter family to play in the NHL.