The Reign Rewind comes to you every Monday this season with more off-the-wall topics related to the team and players while touching on some topics from the weekend’s games.
MERSCH FLIES THE W
Illinois native Michael Mersch, like many Cubs fans throughout the world, can rest a little easier these days knowing that the team’s World Series drought is over after 108 years of waiting.
“Some of the guys on the team were giving me some grief during the game because they wanted the Cubs to blow it just so the legend would live on,” said Mersch, who was born in Park Ridge, a suburb of Chicago. “I had some friends that I was texting with back home. They were all excited. They were out in Wrigleyville partying. It was good for them. It was good for the whole city. It’s just fun when your team wins.”
The Cubs of course beat the Indians 8-7 in a thrilling 10-inning Game 7 last Wednesday night. Mersch and his family members have been longtime fans and he even got out a game in Los Angeles when the Cubs were in the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers.
“My grandparents watch the Cubs every night,” said Mersch. “They’ve had season tickets for forever. If they’re not going to the games they’re giving us the tickets, we’re going to the games.
“It’s always been in our family. For them to witness the Cubs win the World Series is probably pretty incredible because my grandparents are in their 80s. That’s a long way.”
SUPERSTITIOUS RE: SPECIAL TEAMS
While ORI was drafting a story on the power play that was operating at 44 percent going into the weekend Reign head coach Mike Stothers warned with this: “Never comfortable talking about something that is good for fear of jinxing it.”
In back-to-back losses in Tucson on Friday (3-2) and Saturday (5-4 in OT), the Reign’s power play went 0-for-5 and dipped to 36.7 percent. The team had scored on the man advantage in each of its first six games before Friday. Ontario had just one power play chance on Friday but in four chances on Saturday they not only came up empty handed, but also gave up a shorthanded goal against.
“Since we started talking about the success of our power play we haven’t scored since,” Stothers said on Saturday.
YOU MAKE THE CALL
Rookie defenseman Paul LaDue scored his first AHL goal on Saturday … or did he? It sure did look like Jonny Brodzinski redirected the shot with the shaft of his stick. It would have been Brodzinski’s second of the season. You make the call:
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) November 6, 2016
Goalie Anders Lindback made his Reign debut in back-to-back starts and overall made 40 saves on 48 shots for a .836 save percentage. Stothers said on Saturday though that “it is a very difficult situation for [Lindback] to be in,” due to the fact that the newcomer to the organization has been thrust right back into game action. … Paul Bissonnette fell guilty under a new AHL rule the forbids fighting right after the puck drop on faceoffs and was issued a game misconduct in Friday’s game as a result of dropping the gloves with Stefan Fournier. … Defenseman Vincent LoVerde (4 G, 4 A) had the team’s only two goals on Friday and is tied for the Reign scoring lead with fellow veteran T.J. Hensick (3 G, 5 A) with 8 points through eight games.