Good day from Ontario where it was morning and now we’re inching towards lunch time ahead tonight’s 6 p.m. game against San Jose. There’s another big story going on here today, but before ORI received confirmation that goalie coach Dusty Imoo would indeed back up his son Jonah, ORI knew Jonah would be in. So here’s a few leftover notes and quotes from players Zac Leslie and Andrew Crescenzi about Jonah Imoo making his debut and how the 2-0 Reign will look to improve upon edging out Texas 6-5 in overtime last night.
–Defenseman Paul LaDue took part in morning skate with just a few players on the ice but head coach Mike Stothers said there’s, “no chance,” he plays tonight. He remains out with a lower-body injury sustained on Oct. 13 in practice. “We’re hoping he’ll be ready for the road trip next week to Texas and San Antonio,” Stothers said.
Zac Leslie, on how the team changes with Jonah Imoo making his first start:
We know we need to be a bit better than last night, obviously. We can’t give up five goals and however many power play goals they scored, that’s unacceptable. We know that regardless of it was Jack in net, Budes in net or Jonah in net that we need to play more solid defensively. I think we’re prepared to do that tonight. It’s really going to help Jonah if we can surround him with blocking a lot of shots and make him feel comfortable early in the game. I think that will help him. He’s a great goalie so he’ll do his job for sure. We’ve just got make sure we’re doing our jobs in front of him.
Andrew Crescenzi, on Jonah Imoo making his first start:
We just found that out right now but we’re going to play the same way with whoever’s in net. We expect them to make saves and they expect us to play good in front of them. We’re a team for a reason and we’re going to go out there and play our best no matter what.
Crescenzi, on getting back to a defensive game after giving up 5 goals last night:
We met as a team, we went over some video. We got away from out game there in the second and third. We’ve just got to dictate the pace and play our style game and grind them down low and hopefully we’ll reduce all those shots against.
Crescenzi, on if it’s good to get right back into a game:
It was a win but it wasn’t pretty. We’ll take it but it’s nice to move on and play San Jose tonight and focus on them and hopefully get another two points. … You look back, we’re 2-0 right now. We’re just taking the positives out of everything and we learn from our mistakes. We have a veteran group in there that’s been with Stutts the last two years. We know what he expects and he knows what we’re capable of so we’ve just got to go out there and show him.