WHO: Ontario Reign (10-16-3-2) @ San Jose Barracuda (20-7-1-3)
WHAT: AHL REGULAR SEASON GAME
WHEN: Wednesday, December 9, @ 7:00 PM
WHERE: SAP Center – San Jose, CA
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – AUDIO – Mixlr (Away Audio) – TWITTER: @ontarioreign & @reigninsider
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Ontario Reign hit the road this evening for the first of five straight games away from the Inland Empire, visiting the San Jose Barracuda for the second time this season. The Reign enter tonight’s action off of Sunday’s 4-1 defeat against the San Diego Gulls on home ice in Ontario.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Ontario enters this evening’s game on a five-game losing skid, with losses from 10 of its last 11 games. The Reign are 0-3-0 on the season against the Barracuda, including a 4-1 loss in Northern California on Opening Night, the lone meeting to date between the two teams in San Jose. Defenseman Kale Clague has collected a point in each of the three matchups to date, leading all Ontario skaters with two goals and three points in the season series. I am not on this trip with the team, but see HERE for their line combinations from yesterday’s practice.
A SCORING SHORTAGE: The Reign will look to reverse their recent scoring woes on the road. Ontario has scored just one even strength goal in its last three games played and has struck for just six goals in total over its last five games. Overall this season, the Reign rank towards the middle of the pack in goals scored at 3.10 goals per game, good for 18th leaguewide through their first 31 games played.
BABY GOT (SCHER)BAK: Ontario received reinforcements on Monday as forward Nikita Scherbak was assigned to the team by the Los Angeles Kings. Scherbak has collected one goal from eight NHL games played this season, in addition to one goal from five games played with the AHL’s Laval Rocket. All-time, Scherbak has amassed 95 points (28-67-95) from 145 AHL games played, all of which came within the Montreal Canadiens organization.
LIKE MIKE: Reign forward Mike Amadio led all skaters this weekend with a point in each game played (1-1-2). Amadio collected an assist on Saturday against San Jose and scored Ontario’s lone goal in the 4-1 defeat on Sunday against San Diego. The 6-1 center has now tallied five points (1-4-5) from six games played with the Reign this season, in addition to two goals and four points at the NHL level with the Kings.
THE ROY-AL TREATMENT: Defenseman Matt Roy collected his eighth power-play assist of the season on Amadio’s goal on Sunday. Roy leads all Ontario blueliners with 11 power-play points and ranks eighth in the AHL in power-play goals, assists and points amongst blueliners. Overall, Roy has tallied 20 points (6-14-20) from 31 games played, with his 0.65 points-per-game pace tied for 11th in the AHL amongst defensemen with at least 30 games played.
POWERFUL POWER PLAY: Despite recent struggles to score at even strength, the Ontario power play has continued to find success, especially on home ice. Ontario has scored a power-play goal in two of its last three games and has totaled 15 goals from 16 games on home ice this season, with its 23.4% success rate at home ranking sixth in the AHL. Overall, the Reign have converted at a 19.2% clip on the man advantage this season.
KEEPING THINGS CLOSE: Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to San Jose marked Ontario’s third regulation loss this season in a one-goal game. The Reign have earned points from 12 of the 15 one-goal games they have played in thus far this season, with a 7-3-3-2 record to date, good for 19 of their 25 points (76%). By comparison, San Jose is 5-4-1-3 in one-goal games for 14 points (32% of their total), as opposed to eight wins by three-or-more goals.