WHAT: AHL PRESEASON GAME
WHEN: Monday, October 1 @ 7:00 PM
WHERE: Honda Center – Anaheim, CA
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: None – AUDIO – Mixlr – TWITTER: @ontarioreign & @reigninsider
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Ontario Reign conclude their 2018 preseason slate with a trip to Anaheim to take on the San Diego Gulls. The two teams previously met four days ago in Ontario to open the 2018 preseason, with the Reign claiming a 4-3 shootout victory over the Gulls after a thirteen-round shootout.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Tonight’s game marks the final tune-up for the Reign before the regular season begins on Friday against the San Jose Barracuda. The Reign, who iced a less-experienced group on Thursday, could play a group that more closely resembles a regular-season lineup tonight in Anaheim following this morning’s roster moves. Cal Petersen was the first goaltender off the ice at morning skate while Daniel Brickley, Kale Clague, Alex Lintuniemi, Colton Saucerman, Spencer Watson and Matt Luff were out late after morning skate.
MAKING MOVES: The Reign made a series of roster moves today as five players were assigned to Ontario from the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. Joining Ontario is goaltender Cal Petersen, defensemen Daniel Brickley, Kale Clague and Kurtis MacDermid and forward Matt Luff. Petersen, MacDermid and Luff each skated with Ontario last season while Clague and Brickley will look to make their AHL debuts later this month.
YOU’VE GOT MAIL-LET: Ontario forward Philippe Maillet led the Reign during the preseason opener as he tallied three points (1-2-3), in addition to a goal during the shootout. Maillet’s goal came late in the second period to bring Ontario within one and he also assisted on the game-opening and game-tying goals. Maillet is Ontario’s second leading returning scorer, as he amassed 36 points (18-18-36) from 64 games played as a rookie last season.
FOR PETE’S SAKE: Reign goaltender Peter Budaj manned the net for Ontario on Thursday and turned aside 35 of the 38 shots he faced through 65 minutes, in addition to 11 of the 13 shots he faced during the shootout. Budaj is back with the Reign for his second tour, after he previously spent the 2015-16 season with the club. Budaj is tied with Jack Campbell for the franchise’s all-time lead in wins and was named as an AHL First Team All-Star in 2016.
DYNAMIC DEBUTS: Thursday’s game marked the professional debuts, preseason at least, for defenseman Austin Strand and forward Brad Morrison, with Morrison tallying an assist on Maillet’s second-period goal. Both players signed with the Kings as unrestricted free agents within the last calendar year and the pair of 21-year-olds are expected to begin their first professional campaigns this season.
DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE: Ontario and San Diego square off tonight at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, home of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. Tonight’s matchup marks the fourth straight season that the two teams have played in Anaheim, with the Reign winning the most recent edition by a 2-1 final in 2017. San Diego won the first two editions in 2015 and 2016 to hold the all-time series lead, 2-1, at Honda Center.
WHAT’S NEXT: Ontario begins its 2018-19 regular-season schedule on Friday in San Jose, followed by a quick trip to Stockton for a Saturday showdown. Look for the Reign to submit its season-opening roster later this week in advance of a back-to-back on the road. Ontario will begin its home regular-season slate on October 12 and 13 with a pair of games at Citizens Business Bank Arena.