PREVIEW – Ontario vs. Bakersfield, 1/10

WHO: Ontario Reign (16-16-3-1) vs. Bakersfield Condors (14-14-4-1)
WHEN: Friday, January 10, 2020 – 7:00 PM
WHERE: Toyota Arena – Ontario, CA
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – AUDIO – Mixlr – TWITTER: @ontarioreign & @reigninsider

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Ontario Reign continue a three-game week this evening as they host the Bakersfield Condors tonight at Toyota Arena. The Reign got off to a slow start on Wednesday, with their most lopsided defeat in franchise history, a 9-0 loss in San Jose against the Barracuda.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: So far this season, the road team has ruled the season series between Ontario and Bakersfield, with the visitors posting a 5-1-0 record through six games to date. Ontario is 3-0-0 this season at Mechanic’s Bank Arena, as opposed to an 0-1-1 mark at Toyota Arena. Tonight’s matchup is the seventh of 12 between the two teams this season, and the third of six in Ontario, with the Reign hosting the Condors in three of their next six home contests.

BLUE LINE BONANZA: No team in the American Hockey League has received a higher percentage of goals scored by its defensemen than the Ontario Reign (27%). Ontario has 25 goals scored by defensemen this season, which ranks second in itself, behind on the Charlotte Checkers (27). Ontario has two defensemen, Kale Clague and Austin Strand, tied for fourth in the AHL with six goals scored, and seven blueliners with two or more goals scored.

BIG BOUNCE-BACK GUYS: Including Wednesday evening’s 9-0 blanking in San Jose, Ontario has now suffered four defeats this season of six goals or greater. So far, the Reign have recovered to win the next game two of those three times, bouncing back from an 8-2 loss against Tucson and a 9-2 loss against the Barracuda earlier this season. The lone outlier was an 8-0 loss against the Roadrunners, which preceded a five-day break around the holidays.

BJORNFOT IS BACK: The Reign are expected to welcome defenseman Tobias Bjornfot back into the fold this evening, as the 18-year-old defenseman as rejoined the team following the World Juniors. Bjornfot appeared in seven games at the tournament, as Team Sweden won a bronze medal. In 23 games played with Ontario this season, Bjornfot has tallied nine points (2-7-9) and a +4 rating.

JAD JUMPS UP: Ontario forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan earned his first recall of the 2019-20 season, as he was called up by the Los Angeles Kings yesterday afternoon. Anderson-Dolan leads the Reign in assists (14) and ranks second in points (19), and was one of four players at the time of his recall that had skated in all 36 games (Brett Sutter, Lance Bouma, Mikey Anderson). Anderson-Dolan has one point (0-1-1) from five career NHL games with the Kings.

SCOUTING THE CONDORS: A trio of players leads Bakersfield against Ontario this season, with Josh Currie (3-2-5), Evan Bouchard (1-4-5) and Cooper Marody (0-5-5) each at five points in head-to-head action. Forward Tyler Benson has led the Condors in overall scoring with 29 points (8-21-29) from 33 games played, one year from his selection to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team during the 2018-19 season.

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