PREVIEW - Ontario vs. San Diego, 12/22 - LA Kings Insider

WHO: Ontario Reign (9-11-3-2) vs. San Diego Gulls (11-11-1-2)
WHEN: Saturday, December 22, @ 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 and San Diego Gulls are back at it again tonight for a rematch, after last night’s 5-3 Gulls victory. Yesterday evening, the Gulls overturned a pair of first-period Ontario leads, scoring three straight goals to claim an advantage that they would not relinquish on route to a victory.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Reign and Gulls have split their season series to date, with Ontario posting a 2-1-1 record and holding a 5-4 points lead from the four meetings. The two teams have split the games played thus far in Ontario, with San Diego winning 6-5 in a shootout on opening weekend, followed by a 4-2 Reign victory on November 3. After last night’s San Diego win, the two teams are now separated by two points in the Pacific Division standings, with Ontario sitting seven points out of the division’s final playoff berth. With the back-to-back and the early start, the Reign did not skate this morning.

SHORTHANDED BANDITS: Ontario found itself shorthanded 11 times last evening in San Diego and the Reign responded by killing off all but one of them, a season-high 10 penalties killed in a game. The Reign also scored a pair of shorthanded goals last night, courtesy of Brett Sutter and Kyle Bauman marking the first time this season the Reign have tallied multiple shorthanded goals in a game, having previously totaled three overall on the season.

JACK IS BACK: Goaltender Jack Campbell could make his return to the Ontario lineup this afternoon, after he was assigned to the Reign on a conditioning stint by the LA Kings earlier this week. Campbell has played in more games (78) than any other goaltender in Reign history, skating with the team during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. All-time, Campbell has posted a 42-25-10 record, with a .913 SV%, a 2.62 GAA, as well as 5 shutouts.

BEST BRETTS: Ontario forward and captain Brett Sutter collected a goal and an assist in last night’s defeat, with both points coming on the penalty kill. Sutter has now amassed three shorthanded points (1-2-3) on the season, tying him for the AHL league lead in the category. Sutter’s tally also snapped a seven-game goalless drought, while his multi-point effort was his sixth of the 2018-19 season to date.

AUSTIN POWERS: Reign blueliner Austin Strand scored his first career AHL goal last evening with the game-opening goal 3:03 into the game. Strand’s goal was a power-play tally for his first career AHL PP point as well. Strand has tallied once prior in his professional career, a goal scored with the ECHL’s Manchester Monarchs back in October. The first-year defenseman has now amassed two points (1-1-2) from four games played with the Reign so far this season.

BAU-MAN O’ WAR: Ontario forward Kyle Bauman scored his second goal of the season last night, a shorthanded tally in the second period. Bauman’s goal was also his second shorthanded marker of the season, making him the only Reign player with multiple shorthanded goals this season, tying him for fifth in the AHL. Overall, Bauman has now amassed six points (2-4-6) from 24 games played.

FIGHT NIGHT: Last night’s game saw three fights, plus one additional scrap that was recorded as a double-minor for roughing. Mikey Eyssimont, Kurtis MacDermid and Drake Rymsha all dropped the gloves last evening, the first scrap for Eyssimont as a professional. The two teams combined for 82 penalty minutes last night, with Ontario’s 43 their second highest PIM total of the season and San Diego’s 39 the most by a Reign opponent on the campaign.