The Ontario Reign announced today that they will open the 2018-19 season at home on Friday, October 4 at Toyota Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7 PM as the Reign take on the San Jose Barracuda, the second straight season that the two teams have opened the season against each other, following last season’s meeting in San Jose.
The full AHL schedule will be released by the league at some point tomorrow.
The Reign dropped their first two home games last season against San Jose, but rebounded to win the final two to finish the season 2-2 at home against the Barracuda.
The Reign will open on home ice for the first time in their history as a member of the AHL and for the first time in total since the 2013-14 ECHL season. Ontario previously opened their season in San Jose (2018-19), San Antonio (2017-18), San Diego (2016-17) and Bakersfield (2015-16).
As previously announced, the Reign will also be home on Friday, October 11 at Toyota Arena, one of six guaranteed home dates announced by the team in May. The Reign will also play home games on Saturday, November 2, Saturday, December 14, Friday, January 10, Saturday, January 18 and Saturday, February 8, with opponents and times to be included in the full schedule release tomorrow.
In AHL franchise history, Ontario is 2-2-0 in regular-season openers and 2-1-1 in home openers. Last season, the Reign fell 4-1 in San Jose in the regular-season opener on October 5 and dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to the Stockton Heat on Friday, October 12 in the home opener.
For the first time in @TheAHL, we open the season at home.
— Ontario Reign (@ontarioreign) July 9, 2019
Happy Trails, Sam Herr. The former Reign forward signed with the EIHL’s Nottingham Panthers on Friday, marking the latest member of the 2018-19 Reign to depart the organization.
Herr had spent his entire professional career to date with Ontario, ranking fourth all-time with 193 games played. The Notre Dame product amassed 41 points in his time with the Reign, playing in mostly a bottom six role.
Herr’s value extended well past the stat sheet, however. The 26-year-old was a hard working player who frequently featured on the penalty kill and in tough minutes late in games. Herr played a smart, simple game and had a tendency to contribute offensively in key moments, including two game-winning goals last season.
Herr joins Alex Lintuniemi, Philippe Maillet, Zack Mitchell, Peter Budaj and Nikita Scherbak as key members of last season’s Reign squad to move on.