WHAT: AHL REGULAR SEASON GAME
WHEN: Friday, October 26, @ 7:00 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 Tucson Roadrunners tonight for the first meeting of the season between the two teams. Ontario enters tonight’s action on a five-game losing streak overall, including 3 in overtime, but is also riding a three-game point streak at home, falling in overtime or the shootout in each of its three home games this season.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Tonight’s matchup is the first of eight games between the Reign and Roadrunners this season, with four to be held in Ontario. Tucson is the only team in the Pacific Division that Ontario is below the .500 mark against all time, with the Reign at 8-10-2-0 versus the Roadrunners. The Reign look to turnaround a slow start to the season with three straight games at home. Ontario has yet to lose in regulation at home in the 2018-19 season and has traditionally been strong on home ice, including a 21-11-1-1 record at Citizens Business Bank Arena a season ago. In net, Cal Petersen was off first from today’s morning skate, while it appears that Jamie Devane and Boko Imama will be tonight’s scratches up top. Zack Mitchell skated and was off early today – As reported yesterday, Mitchell is “highly likely” to return to Ontario lineup this evening, his first game since an injury on October 12.
BUILD FORD LUFF: Second-year winger Matt Luff, recently singled out by LA Kings GM Rob Blake, has collected six points (2-4-6) from six games played to start the season. Luff collected two assists in Saturday’s defeat in Colorado, his second multi-point effort of the season. Despite missing a game due to injury, Luff leads all Reign skaters with 33 shots on goal and is tied for second in points, one shy of team leader Brett Sutter.
THE SIXTH SENSE: Ontario forward Matt Moulson collected an assist on Saturday as he extended his scoring streak to six games. Moulson has collected a point in every game besides the season opener and is tied for the team lead in overall scoring with eight points (2-6-8) from seven games played. Moulson’s six-game point streak is tied for the third longest scoring streak in the AHL this season and his six-game assist streak is tied for the longest streak leaguewide.
YOUNG SHELDON: The Reign received reinforcements from above just this morning as forward Sheldon Rempal was assigned to Ontario from Los Angeles. Rempal made his NHL debut on October 18 against the New York Islanders and was scoreless through three games with the big club. Rempal returns to Ontario tied for the Reign lead with four goals and eight points and despite playing in just four AHL games, is tied for second in the AHL in points by a first-year player.
CAL AROUND: Goaltender Cal Petersen posted a pair of strong outings over the weekend in Colorado. Petersen entered the game in relief on Friday and turned aside 20 of the 22 shots he faced in 40 minutes of action. Petersen started Friday’s game against the Eagles and stopped 39 of 43 shots in defeat, a season-high in both saves and shots faced, with the 43 shots faced one shy of a career high, which he most recently experienced on April 14 of last season against Bakersfield.
COUPLE OF KEMPES: The Roadrunners gained reinforcements earlier this week as forward Mario Kempe was re-assigned to Tucson by the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. Kempe is the older brother of former Ontario and current Los Angeles forward Adrian Kempe, who played 101 games with the Reign from 2015 – 2017. The two brothers have yet to faceoff in a regular season game at the NHL or AHL level but did play against each other in NHL preseason action on September 28, 2017.
REIGNING IN LOS ANGELES: Four Ontario alums have already made their NHL debuts with the Kings this season, the latest being defenseman Sean Walker, who made his NHL debut and collected an assist in that game on Tuesday in Dallas. Walker joins Sheldon Rempal, Austin Wagner and Jaret Anderson-Dolan as those Reign alums to reach the NHL in October 2018. Overall, Walker became the 27th player to play for both the Kings and Reign over the 3+ seasons that the Reign have been the AHL affiliate of the Kings.
I LOVE YOU, MAN-CH: Four players that have been with the Reign this season are currently in the ECHL with the Manchester Monarchs, including forward Spencer Watson, who has three points (2-1-3) from three games with Manchester this season. Defenseman Austin Strand made his pro debut last week, scoring his first goal on Saturday, while goaltender Cole Kehler made his pro debut on Wednesday with 29 saves in a 4-3 defeat to Maine. Defenseman Stepan Falkovsky scored his second goal of the season on Wednesday and is tied for the ECHL lead with a +7 rating this season.