PREVIEW - Ontario vs. Stockton, 11/11 - LA Kings Insider

WHO: Ontario Reign (3-5-2-1) vs. Stockton Heat (5-6-1-0)
WHEN: Sunday, November 11, @ 3:00 PM
WHERE: Citizens Business Bank Arena – Ontario, CA
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – AUDIO – Mixlr – TWITTER: @ontarioreign & @reigninsider

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Ontario Reign and Stockton Heat will conclude their weekend home-and-home this afternoon at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. The Heat overtook the Reign by a commanding 5-1 final on Friday evening in Stockton as they won the first half of the series, with Ontario looking to bounce back this afternoon in the latter half.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Tonight marks the fourth matchup between the Reign and the Heat this season, with Stockton leading 2-to-1 in victories and 5-to-3 in points. The last time these two teams met in Ontario, the Heat turned around a two-goal deficit in the final 10 minutes of the third period as they skated to a 5-4 overtime victory on Opening Night in Ontario. The Reign did not skate this morning with the 3 PM game, but expectations are that Cal Petersen makes his sixth consecutive start. Brad Morrison and Austin Strand were the team’s two scratches on Friday in Stockton – Will see if anything changes for today’s game.

*UPDATE – Charles Williams will make his first start of the season tonight for Ontario*

TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK: As Mike Stothers mentioned during the week, sometimes a team will take “two steps forward and one step back”, which was evidenced after a 5-1 loss on Friday, following a pair of victories the week before. The Reign were unable to extended its longest winning streak of the season to date and will now look to bounce back and avoid losing back-to-back games in regulation for the third time this season.

THE DRIVE FOR FIVE: Ontario has conceded five-or-more goals in eight of its 11 games played this season, holding a 1-4-3 record in such contests, as opposed to a 2-1-0 mark in games with four or fewer goals allowed. The Reign have currently given up the most third most goals in the AHL to date, trailing only Stockton and Hartford, making this afternoon’s matchup a battle of the two highest goals against totals in the Western Conference.

BETWEEN THE PIPES: While the Reign conceded five times on Friday, they also allowed a season high 46 shots on goal, the highest shot total that netminder Cal Petersen has faced in his professional career. Petersen’s 41 saves tied a career-high and over his last three starts, he has posted a .912 save percentage, along with a 2-1-0 record. Last night’s game was also just Petersen’s third regulation loss from ten appearances on the season.

SAM I AM: Forward Sam Herr collected an assist on his team’s lone tally last evening, his second straight game with a point, following his game-winning goal last Saturday in Ontario. Herr has now amassed four points (1-3-4) on the season, putting him on pace to nearly double his previous season-high in points. Friday’s game in Stockton was Herr’s 136th career regular season game with the Reign, moving him into sole possession of seventh all-time in franchise history, passing Sean Backman.

SHORTHANDED BANDIT: Ontario center Kyle Bauman scored his team’s lone goal in Friday’s defeat, a shorthanded tally, the second shorthanded goal of the season for Ontario (Matt Luff – 10/26 vs. TUC). The shorthanded goal makes Bauman one of five Reign skaters with a shorthanded point this season. The Bemidji State product has now tallied five points (1-4-5) from 10 games played and has collected a point in back-to-back games, as well as in four of his past six played.

OLIVER TWIST: Stockton defenseman Oliver Kylington collected two goals and an assist in Friday’s victory, his second consecutive three-point game against the Reign. In the last meeting between the team, Kylington nearly had a hat trick, but saw his third tally changed to an assist, giving him four goals and two assists, along with a +7 rating across the two contests. The two goals set and then tied a career high for Kylington, while his three points also matched a career best in the AHL.

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Kevin Gravel

#4 | 6′ 4″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 2/17/1996
Birthplace: KINGSFORD, MI
Position: D


Gravel made his NHL debut with Los Angeles in the 2015-16 season, skating with the Kings for four games before returning to AHL affiliate Ontario.

Rob Scuderi

#0 | 6′ 1″ | 212 lb | Age: 37

Born: DOB: 12/30/1978
Birthplace: SYOSSET, NY
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Scuderi is currently playing for the Reign while under contract with the LA Kings. He has won two Stanley Cups, once with the Pittsburgh Penguins and with the Kings.

Michael Mersch

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 225 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 10/2/1992
Birthplace: PARK RIDGE, IL
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Drafted by the Kings in 2011, Mersch is currently playing forward for the Reign. Last season, he drew into his first NHL game for the Kings, where he registered 2 shots and 3 hits.

Michael Latta

#24 | 6′ 0″ | 207 lb | Age: 25

Born: 5/25/1991
Birthplace: KITCHENER, ON
Position: F
Handedness: Right


Prior to turning professional, Latta played major junior hockey in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s and Guelph Storm. He was drafted into the NHL in 2009 and joined the King’s affiliate Reign in 2016.

Adrian Kempe

#09 | 6′ 1″ | 187 lb | Age: 20

Born: 9/13/1996
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Growing up in Swedan, Kempe made his hockey debut in 2014 in the Swedish Hockey League. He has since been drafted by the Kings, where he is playing for their AHL affiliate team, the Ontario 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.