PREVIEW – Ontario vs. San Jose, 12/6

WHO: Ontario Reign (10-10-2-0) vs. San Jose Barracuda (7-11-0-1)
WHEN: Friday, December 6, 2019 – 7:00 PM
WHERE: Toyota Arena – Ontario, CA
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – AUDIO – Mixlr – TWITTER: @ontarioreign & @reigninsider

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Reign return back to Toyota Arena, to begin a stretch of five consecutive games on home ice. Ontario is in the midst of a 3-in-4, which began with a 3-2 win over Stockton on Wednesday evening.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: As Ontario returns back home, following an off-day yesterday, line combinations for tonight are unclear. Forwards Jacob Doty and Drake Rymsha, along with defenseman Austin Strand, were on the ice late this morning, working with goaltender Matthew Villalta. Cal Petersen was off first this morning, expect him to make the start again tonight for Ontario.

DIFFERENTIAL DIFFERENCES: The San Jose Barracuda enter tonight’s action at the bottom of the Pacific Division standings, but rank fourth in the league in shot differential (+4.00) on a per-game basis. San Jose is one of two teams, along with Rochester, to rank inside the AHL’s top 6 in both shots for and against per game. Ontario, on the other hand, ranks last in the AHL in shot differential per game (-8.50), though it currently sits in a playoff spot in the Pacific Division.

FIRST TIMER: Ontario forward Gabriel Vilardi scored the first goal of his professional career on Wednesday evening, which also went down as the game-winning goal. Vilardi also added an assist, on teammate Martin Frk’s tally, as he collected his first multi-point game as a member of the Reign. Vilardi has now collected three points (1-2-3) from four games with Ontario this season, and has four points (1-3-4) from eight career AHL games.

ASTON MARTIN: Reign forward Martin Frk scored his team-leading tenth goal of the season on Wednesday, a first-period tally. Frk also added an assist on Vilardi’s goal, his fourth multi-point effort of the season, and leads all Reign players with 15 points (10-5-15). With 10 goals scored, Frk is the first Ontario skater to reach double figures and is tied for third among all Pacific Division skaters in goals.

DRIVE FOR FIVE: Reign forward Lance Bouma scored for the third straight game with the game-opening goal on Wednesday in Stockton. Bouma’s midweek tally gives him points in five straight games, spanning back in November, which sets his longest career scoring streak in the AHL. Bouma has now totaled ten points (6-4-10) on the season, which ranks him second on the team in goals and tied for third in points.

BREAKNG JAD: Reign forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan became the first Reign rookie to reach double-figures in points this season, with an assist on Bouma’s goal on Wednesday evening in Stockton. Anderson-Dolan has now tallied 10 points (4-6-10) on the season thus far, which leads first-year Reign players in points, is tied for the lead in assists and ranks second behind Rasmus Kupari (5) in goals.

TALE OF TWO SPECIAL TEAMS: The Ontario Reign penalty kill was a perfect 5-of-5 on Wednesday. On the season, the Reign are tied for the most times shorthanded on the road (71) and in total (115), but rank 11th in the AHL in road penalty killing at 84.5%, just 0.1% out of the league’s top ten. In contrast, the Reign power play was 0-for-3 in that game, which drops it to 4-of-54 away from home this season, which ranks 28th in the league at 7.4%.

SCOUTING THE BARRACUDA: San Jose brings a balanced offensive attack into tonight’s action, with its eight leading scorers sitting between 11 and 15 points this season. The Barracuda are led by forward Maxim Letunov, who has collected 15 points (5-10-15) from 18 games played. San Jose also features forward Jonny Brodzinski, a member of the Kings organization from 2015-19, who has six points (3-3-6) from nine games played.

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