PREVIEW – Ontario @ Tucson, 12/20

WHO: Ontario Reign (13-11-3-1) @ Tucson Roadrunners (21-5-0-0)
WHEN: Friday, December 20, 2019 – 6:00 PM (Pacific)
WHERE: Tucson Arena – Tucson, AZ
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – AUDIO – iHeart Radio – TWITTER: @ontarioreign & @reigninsider

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Reign are in Arizona for the final two games before the AHL’s holiday break. Ontario will faceoff against Tucson tonight and tomorrow evening, completing a three-game week after a 4-3 win over San Jose on Wednesday.

TU IN NAME, ONE IN STANDINGS: Tucson is not just the top team in the Pacific Division, not just the top team in the Western Conference, but the top team in the American Hockey League, with a .808 winning percentage. Tucson has won 10 of its last 11 games, including a pair of victories over Ontario in late-November. The Roadrunners have yet to lose in the month of December, and despite playing a 68-game schedule, lead the AHL with 19 ROW’s.

THREE LETTERS, TWO POINTS: Reign forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan collected a pair of assists in Ontario’s victory over San Jose on Wednesday. Anderson-Dolan’s multi-point effort was his fourth of the season, his first since he accomplished the feat in back-to-back games on October 25 and 26 and his first ever two-assist game in the AHL. Anderson-Dolan now has 13 points (5-8-13) from 28 games played this season, leading all Reign rookies.

BIG IMAMA’S HOUSE: Ontario forward Boko Imama collected two points in Wednesday’s win over San Jose, a pair of assists, including the primary helper on the game-winning goal. The multi-point effort was Imama’s first of the season, and the second of his AHL career, while his two-assist game was also an AHL career best. The third-year forward already has a career-high eight points from 23 games played this season.

GAG REFLEX: Reign forward Gabriel Gagne made his Ontario debut on Wednesday in San Jose and collected an assist in the win over the Barracuda. Gagne joined the Reign earlier this week, as he signed a PTO from the ECHL’s Allen Americans. Gagne has amassed 26 points (15-11-26) from 25 games with Allen and is tied for second in the ECHL in goals and has 48 points (28-20-48) from 165 career AHL games played with Binghamton, Belleville, Toronto and Ontario.

OLE BUDDY, OLE PAUL: Reign defenseman Paul LaDue scored in his first game back with the Reign, as he tallied the game’s first goal on Wednesday in San Jose. LaDue returned to Ontario with one assist from two NHL games with the Kings, and has seven points (2-5-7) and a +5 rating from 19 games with the Reign. The right-hand shot blueliner has 43 points (16-27-43) from 93 career game played with Ontario.

YOU BRETTCHA: Ontario forward Brett Sutter snapped an 18-game goalless drought on Wednesday, as he scored in the win over San Jose. Sutter leads all Reign players with 10 assists this season and has four points (1-3-4) over his last five games played. Sutter recently hit a professional milestone, as he skated in his 900th career professional game (840 AHL, 60 NHL) on Sunday against Iowa.

SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS: Tucson is led offensively by forwards Lane Pedersen (13 goals, 24 points) and Brayden Burke (24 points from 24 games), as well as forward Michael Bunting, who ranks seventh in the AHL with 19 assists. Roadrunners blueliner Dysin Mayo leads all AHL players by a substantial margin in plus/minus at +24 through 26 games played, +8 higher than the next closest player.

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