WHAT: AHL REGULAR SEASON GAME
WHEN: Wednesday, February 20 @ 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 are back in action this week as they host three games in four days on home ice. Ontario hosts Stockton this evening, before hosting San Antonio and Colorado this weekend.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Reign host the Heat tonight for the third time this season. Ontario has posted a 2-2-2 record so far this season against Stockton in total, including a 1-0-1 mark here on home ice, though the teams not played in the Inland Empire since November 11. Three of the first six games between the two teams have gone into overtime, including the most recent meeting, a 6-5 Heat victory in mid-January at Stockton Arena. Ontario is back in action off of a 2-1 overtime defeat on Saturday in Bakersfield, concluding a weekend with one point from two games.
THE SPECIAL TEAMS: The Ontario Reign were a perfect 6-of-6 on the penalty kill on Saturday in Bakersfield, their highest perfect PK total since October 26 against Tucson and their most penalties killed in a game since December 21 against San Diego. While the Reign went scoreless on the man advantage on Saturday, the team has tallied five man-advantage goals over its last four games played, scoring at a 38.5 percent clip over that span.
REMP IT UP: Ontario forward Sheldon Rempal leads all skaters in the Reign – Heat season series to date, with nine points (4-5-9) from five games played. The first-year winger has multiple points in four of his five games played against the Heat this season, including a three-point night back in October. Overall, Rempal has collected assists in back-to-back games and has 32 points (11-21-32) from 39 games as a rookie.
ZACK ATTACK: Reign forward Zack Mitchell scored his team’s lone goal on Saturday in Bakersfield, as Ontario fell 2-1 in overtime against the Condors. Mitchell has now found the back of the net in back-to-back games and led all Ontario players last weekend with three points (2-1-3) from two games played. Mitchell also carries an active team-high three game point streak into tonight’s action.
BREAD AND BUUDER: Ontario netminder Peter Budaj made his first start of the month on Saturday and turned aside 26 of the 28 shots he faced in an overtime defeat. Including a relief appearance on Friday, Budaj stopped 35 of 38 shots in total on the weekend. Budaj has found success in Bakersfield this season, making 61 saves on 65 shots in total, with Ontario posting a 1-0-1 mark in the two starts.
HOLMES AND WATSON: The Reign added reinforcements yesterday as defenseman Cliff Watson was signed to a PTO. Watson has skated in 14 AHL games this season with Stockton, Hershey and Utica and has tallied three assists. The 6-2 blueliner has amassed four points (0-4-4) in 22 career AHL games. Watson has also collected 15 points (7-8-15) from 25 ECHL games this season with Kansas City and won the Kelly Cup with Colorado a season ago.
X-ROY: Defenseman Matt Roy earned the first NHL recall of his professional career and made his professional debut with the Kings on Saturday against Boston. Roy has skated in two NHL games, going scoreless with two penalty minutes and an even rating. At the time of his recall, Roy led all Ontario blueliners with 29 points (8-21-29) and ranks tied for second in the AHL in power-play points by a defenseman, third in in power-play assists.