PREVIEW - Ontario vs. Colorado, 2/23 - LA Kings Insider

WHO: Ontario Reign (16-25-5-2) vs. Colorado Eagles (24-21-3-1)
WHAT: AHL REGULAR SEASON GAME
WHEN: Saturday, February 23, @ 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 conclude a three-game week as they host the Colorado Eagles this evening in the Inland Empire. The Reign are 1-1-0 thus far this week, with a 4-3 win over Stockton on Wednesday, followed by a 4-2 defeat last evening against San Antonio.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Reign will host the Eagles for the final time this season, with tonight’s meeting serving as the sixth overall matchup between the divisional foes. Ontario has posted a 1-1-1 record at home against Colorado to date, most recently including a 5-3 victory on January 26. Overall, the Reign are 1-3-1 against the Eagles and the two teams will meet twice in Colorado in early-March. The Reign took a partial morning skate today in Ontario, with goaltender Peter Budaj off first, but no one was on late for traditional extra work.

KALE AND RESPONSE: Ontario defenseman Kale Clague scored both of his team’s goals in yesterday’s defeat against San Antonio. With the Reign trailing 2-0 in the third period, Clague tallied twice, including once on the man advantage, to tie the game at two. The Ontario blueliner has now amassed five goals and 26 points during his rookie campaign, ranking fifth in assists and tied for sixth in points in the AHL amongst first-year defensemen.

SPECIAL TEAMS SHOWDOWN: Last night’s meeting between Ontario and San Antonio was decided through special teams, with the visitors winning the fight. San Antonio scored three goals on the power play, including Jordan Nolan’s game-winning tally inside two minutes to play in the third period. The Rampage were 3-of-5 overall on the man advantage, while Ontario left chances on the table, finishing at 1-of-6.

POINT PRODUCER: Ontario forward Matt Moulson has led the charge against the Eagles this season with a team-best three goals and six points versus the Eagles. Moulson is tied with Colorado’s Andrew Agozzino for the points lead in the head-to-head matchup in total. Overall this season, Moulson leads all Reign players in scoring with 45 points (22-23-45) and is tied for second leaguewide with 12 power-play goals.

ZACK ATTACK: Reign forward Zack Mitchell collected an assist on Clague’s second goal and has now picked up a point in five consecutive games, with six points in total (3-3-6) during that run. Prior to yesterday, Mitchell has scored in three straight games. The fourth-year forward has collected 15 points in total (7-8-15) this season from 42 games played and is approaching the 300 AHL games played mark (292 to date).

SHELD-SHOCKED: Ontario forward Sheldon Rempal also saw a point-streak extended, as he collected an assist for the fourth straight game. Rempal has now totaled 23 assists on the season, tying him for seventh in the AHL amongst rookies. The Clarkson University product has tallied 34 points (11-23-34) in total during his first professional campaign, good for third on the Reign in scoring on the season.

THIS IS 40(+): Reign netminder Cal Petersen saw another heavy workload yesterday evening as he made 48 saves on 51 shots in a losing effort. Petersen has now seen at least 45 shots in three of his last four starts, including 50+ in two of those three outings. The 48 saves were four shy of his professional career-high, which was set 13 days ago in a 4-3 victory over San Jose, as the second-year netminder made 52 saves on 55 shots.

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