Preview - Ontario vs. San Jose, 1/5 - LA Kings Insider

WHO: Ontario Reign (10-14-3-2) vs. San Jose Barracuda (19-6-1-3)
WHEN: Saturday, December 5 @ 6:00 PM
WHERE: Citizens Business Bank Arena – Ontario, CA
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – AUDIO – Mixlr – TWITTER: @ontarioreign & @reigninsider

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Ontario Reign are back in action to kick off the 2019 calendar year with the first of two games on home ice this weekend. The Reign enter tonight’s action off of a 3-1 loss against Bakersfield on Monday, their third straight defeat to end 2018.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Ontario is in search of its first victory of the season over San Jose, with the Barracuda taking the first two meetings, one each home and away. Ontario and San Jose will square off three times in the next seven days. Following this evening’s matchup, the two sides will play again on both Wednesday and Friday at SAP Center in Northern California. Following these three contests, the two teams will face off three additional times on the season, including twice at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Cal Petersen was the first goaltender off this morning, while Jamie Devane and Chaz Reddekopp were on late for extra work.

A DOWN DECEMBER: The Reign concluded the month of December with a 2-5-1-1 record, which did not include a regulation win, a streak that dates back 11 games in total into late November. Ontario did earn points in three of five December games on home ice (2-2-1), but were outscored 44-27 in total throughout the month, as they fell from fifth place in the Pacific Division to seventh, 11 points out of the final playoff position.

HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Forward Sheldon Rempal and defenseman Sean Walker were selected on Wednesday to represent the Reign at the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic. Rempal leads all Ontario skaters with 24 points (8-16-24) on the season and ranks third in the AHL in points-per-game (1.09) by a rookie. Walker is currently on recall to the NHL with the Kings, but his 0.85 points-per-game pace is fourth most amongst AHL blueliners with at least 20 games played.

SO-CAL: Ontario received reinforcements prior to Monday’s game against Bakersfield as goaltender Cal Petersen was assigned by Los Angeles. The second-year goaltender posted 28 saves on 31 shots faced in the 3-1 defeat. Petersen appeared in 11 NHL games with the Kings prior to his recall, posting a 5-4-1 record, a .924 save percentage, a 2.61 goals against average and one shutout.

GOTTA GO TO MO: Reign forward Brad Morrison scored his team’s only goal on Monday, a power-play tally in the second period. The goal was Morrison’s second man-advantage marker of the season and his seventh goal in total. The Prince George, BC native is now tied for fourth on the Reign in goals scored and has tallied 12 total points (7-5-12) from 25 games played on the season.

DRAKE IT IN: Ontario made a roster move yesterday evening as the Los Angeles Kings reassigned forward Drake Rymsha from the Reign to the ECHL’s Manchester Monarchs. Rymsha has collected one goal and two assists from 24 games played with Ontario thus far this season, including his first career professional goal on November 25 against Tucson. Rymsha is currently in his first season as a pro, after he signed his first professional contract in September 2018.

NO WAY, SAN JOSE: The San Jose Barracuda enter tonight’s game as the top team in the AHL’s Western Conference with a .700 winning percentage. The Barracuda trail only the Eastern Conference’s Charlotte Checkers (.736) in winning percentage league-wide. San Jose is also the least penalized team in the AHL this season and leads all Pacific Division teams at 85.7% on the penalty kill.

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Kevin Gravel

#4 | 6′ 4″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 2/17/1996
Birthplace: KINGSFORD, MI
Position: D


Gravel made his NHL debut with Los Angeles in the 2015-16 season, skating with the Kings for four games before returning to AHL affiliate Ontario.

Rob Scuderi

#0 | 6′ 1″ | 212 lb | Age: 37

Born: DOB: 12/30/1978
Birthplace: SYOSSET, NY
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Scuderi is currently playing for the Reign while under contract with the LA Kings. He has won two Stanley Cups, once with the Pittsburgh Penguins and with the Kings.

Michael Mersch

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 225 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 10/2/1992
Birthplace: PARK RIDGE, IL
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Drafted by the Kings in 2011, Mersch is currently playing forward for the Reign. Last season, he drew into his first NHL game for the Kings, where he registered 2 shots and 3 hits.

Michael Latta

#24 | 6′ 0″ | 207 lb | Age: 25

Born: 5/25/1991
Birthplace: KITCHENER, ON
Position: F
Handedness: Right


Prior to turning professional, Latta played major junior hockey in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s and Guelph Storm. He was drafted into the NHL in 2009 and joined the King’s affiliate Reign in 2016.

Adrian Kempe

#09 | 6′ 1″ | 187 lb | Age: 20

Born: 9/13/1996
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Growing up in Swedan, Kempe made his hockey debut in 2014 in the Swedish Hockey League. He has since been drafted by the Kings, where he is playing for their AHL affiliate team, the Ontario Reign.

Brett Sutter

#07 | 6′ 0″ | 192 lb | Age: 29

Born: 6/2/1987
Birthplace: CALGARY, AB
Position: C


Drafted in 2005 by the Calgary Flames, Sutter was traded to the Reign in 2016. He is the son of LA Kings head couch Darryl Sutter, and the eighth member of the Sutter family to play in the NHL.