PREVIEW - Ontario vs. San Jose, 12/16 - LA Kings Insider

WHO: Ontario Reign (9-9-3-2) vs. San Jose Barracuda (15-3-1-3)
WHEN: Sunday, December 16, @ 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 host the San Jose Barracuda this afternoon for the first meeting of the season between the two teams at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Ontario enters tonight’s game with points from two of its last three games, but on a three-game losing streak overall, after it most recently dropped a 4-3 overtime tilt against Colorado yesterday evening on home ice.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Reign have not faced the Barracuda since opening night, which ended in a 4-1 victory for San Jose in a game played in Northern California. San Jose has been the AHL’s top team through two months of play, entering tonight’s action with a .773 winning percentage. The Barracuda have lost just three of 22 games in regulation this season and enter today’s game on a nine-game point streak. Ontario has been strong on Sundays so far this season, winning all three (all at home) to date. With the back-to-back and the early start, the Reign will not skate this morning before today’s game.

MOULSON MAKES IT REIGN BEARS: Ontario forward and alternate captain Matt Moulson scored the “teddy-bear toss goal” last night, coming just 66 seconds into yesterday’s game. Moulson’s goal was his first in Ontario since November 1 and he later added an assist for his sixth multi-point game of the season. With the two points, Moulson is now tied with Sheldon Rempal for the team lead with 20 points on the season.

MORE THAN A PHIL-ING: Ontario forward Philippe Maillet also tallied a multi-point game last night, joining Moulson with a goal and an assist. Maillet has now collected multiple points in back-to-back home games, coming off of a hat trick on December 2 against Tucson. After a slow statistical start to the season, Maillet has now collected 14 points (4-10-14) from his last 14 games played.

REDDS RETURNS: Reign defenseman Chaz Reddekopp made his return to the Ontario lineup yesterday, collecting an assist in the overtime defeat. Reddekopp’s game was his first with the Reign since November 1 and, including that game, the 6-4 blueliner has now collected assists in back-to-back AHL games. Prior to re-joining the Reign, Reddekopp amassed four assists from 10 games played in the ECHL with Manchester.

OPEN MIKEY NIGHT: Reign forward Mikey Eyssimont returned to the scoring column with a third-period goal last night against Colorado. Eyssimont’s goal was his first since October 19, which capped off a string of four goals from five games. The rookie forward went 15 games in between those two contests, which both came against Colorado, without tallying a goal. Eyssimont now has 10 points (5-5-10) in total on the season.

BEATING THE BARRACUDA: While San Jose claimed the lone head-to-head meeting of the 2018-19 season, Ontario has dominated the all-time series between the two teams, with an 18-9-1-1 mark all time, including 11-2-1-0 record at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Maillet led the Reign last season with eight points (2-6-8) against San Jose, while goaltender Peter Budaj is 9-2-0 with a 1.54 goals against average and a .934 save percentage against the Barracuda in his Reign career.

SMALL IN NUMBERS: Ontario saw defensemen Daniel Brickley and Sean Walker, in addition to forward Austin Wagner, recalled to the NHL this past week and forward Gabe Vilardi recalled from his conditioning stint to join Team Canada’s training camp for the upcoming World Junior Championships. With Sheldon Rempal missing last night’s game due to illness, the Reign were right up against it, with only the newly signed Craig Wyszomirski as a healthy scratch yesterday evening.

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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.