WHAT: AHL REGULAR SEASON GAME
WHEN: Friday, January 18, @ 5:00 PM (Pacific)
WHERE: Wells Fargo Arena – Des Moines, IA
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – AUDIO – iHeart Radio – TWITTER: @ontarioreign & @reigninsider
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Ontario Reign are back in action this evening to kick off a pair of games in Iowa against the Wild. The Reign enter tonight’s action with points in their last two games, including an overtime defeat in Stockton last Saturday.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: After forcing overtime on Saturday, the Reign picked up three of a possible four points heading into this weekend’s action in Iowa, which begins a 3-in-4 set overall. The Reign have yet to face the Wild this season, but the two teams split their matchups a season ago, with each squad holding serve on home ice. Overall, Ontario is 2-3-1 against the Central Division this season, with a 1-3-0 mark in road games. Tonight’s action against the Wild will be the final Central Division road games for the Reign this season. Goaltender Cal Petersen was first off for the Reign this morning, while Boko Imama, Jamie Devane and Sam Kurker were on late after morning skate. Of note – Kurtis MacDermid lined up as a forward this morning, expect him up front this evening……more on that to come later today.
WILD, WILD, WIN: The last meeting between Ontario and Iowa came on February 3, 2018 at Citizens Business Bank Arena, resulting in a 5-1 win for the Reign. Forward Matt Moulson had a goal and an assist in the victory, while defenseman Matt Roy tallied two assists. Forward Philippe Maillet also scored, while goaltender Cal Petersen stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced to earn the victory.
A HOME, AWAY GAME: Ontario goaltender Cal Petersen is playing in his home state of Iowa for the second time as a professional. Petersen made his professional debut in October 2017 against the Wild. The Waterloo native is first player from his home town to reach the NHL and just the third Iowan overall. Since returning to the AHL in late-December, Petersen is 1-3-0 with a .937 save percentage and a 2.04 goals against average.
ZACK ATTACK: Reign forward Zack Mitchell returned to Wells Fargo Arena for the first time as a visiting player. Mitchell had previously played his entire professional career to date in the Minnesota Wild organization, including a franchise-leading 250 games played with the Iowa Wild. Mitchell is also the all-time leading scorer in Iowa Wild franchise history, with 66 goals and 132 points from his time with the organization.
WE’RE OFF TO SEE THE WYSZARD: Ontario added defenseman Craig Wyszomirski this morning on a PTO from their ECHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. Wyszomirski has appeared in 13 career AHL games with Ontario, Syracuse and Utica, including three this season with the Comets, tallying one assist. Wyszomirski has appeared in 138 games with Manchester in his career, third most in franchise history, and has collected nine points (2-7-9) from 23 ECHL games this season with the Monarchs.
GET STRANDED: Ontario defenseman Austin Strand paced the Reign on Saturday in Stockton, as he collected a career-high three points in the overtime defeat. Strand scored his second goal of the season in the first period and added two assists. The rookie blueliner has now amassed six points (2-4-6) on the season from 11 games played with the Reign, in addition to a goal and two assists from nine games played with Manchester.
SIXTH SENSE: Saturday’s game against Stockton was the fifth time this season the Reign have conceded six goals in a game and Ontario has, improbably, earned a point in four of those five games. The Reign have posted a 2-1-2 record when they have allowed six goals in a game, including the 6-5 overtime loss on Saturday. Ontario previously earned a pair of overtime wins at home by a 7-6 scoreline, coming against Tucson and San Diego.