WHO: Ontario Reign (25-17-1-1) at Henderson Silver Knights (16-27-0-4)
WHAT: AHL REGULAR SEASON GAME #45
WHEN: Saturday, February 11 @ 7:00 PM Pacific
WHERE: The Dollar Loan Center – Henderson, NV
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – AUDIO: Mixlr – TWITTER: @ShafReign & @OntarioReign
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Fresh off a 3-2 shootout win over the Condors in Bakersfield on Friday, the Ontario Reign continue their weekend road trip in Henderson Saturday evening against the Silver Knights at The Dollar Loan Center. As the Reign prepare for their sixth meeting of the season with Henderson, the team can look back on five previous matchups from which they’ve earned a 3-2-0 record. After tonight’s contest, the two teams’ final two meetings will come with a home-and-home series on the last two days of the regular season April 14-15. Ontario has outscored Henderson 16-14 in the first five outings while making their living on the man-advantage with seven power play goals on 21 opportunities (33.3%).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The victory over Bakersfield on Friday extended the Reign’s lead over Tucson for fifth place in the Pacific Division standings to six points, but Ontario remains six points behind fourth which is currently occupied by Abbotsford and Colorado who are tied with 58 points apiece. The Silver Knights, who have played three more games than the Reign, are in ninth place, four points back of Bakersfield for seventh and the final playoff spot in the division. Ontario ranks sixth in the league’s defensive rankings, allowing 2.77 goals per game, while Henderson is tied for ninth in that category with an average of 2.91 goals surrendered. The Reign have been led by captain TJ Tynan against the Silver Knights, who has scored six points in the five meetings on a goal and five assists. Tyler Madden has also been a big factor in the series, totaling five points with four goals and one helper. Henderson has been led by Sheldon Rempal, who has seven points against his former team with two goals and five assists in five games.
LAST TIME OUT: The Ontario Reign came from behind in the third period to force a shootout and secured a 3-2 win over the Bakersfield Condors in the skill session at Mechanics Bank Arena Friday night. Samuel Fagemo, who had a goal during the second period, had the deciding goal in the fourth round of the shootout to give Ontario their first victory on the road in Bakersfield this season. Martin Chromiak had the tying goal for the Reign in the third, while Cal Petersen earned the win in net by stopping 26 shots in regulation and another three shooters during the shootout. Petersen has now allowed two or fewer goals in five consecutive starts.
FANTASTIC FAGEMO: Samuel Fagemo scored for the second consecutive game Friday, posting his 14th goal of the season to get Ontario on the board 1:35 into the second period and eventually netted the winning shootout goal in the bottom of the fourth round to secure an extra point for the Reign in the standings. Prior to the All-Star break, Fagemo scored in the first period last Saturday in an eventual win over Tucson. The Goteborg, Sweden native has found the back of the net in four of his last five AHL games, and five of his last seven, which dates back to early January prior to a two-week NHL call-up from the LA Kings. The third-year pro has totaled 20 points in 30 AHL contests this season, including six power play goals which is three away from his career-high of nine which he set last year. Fagemo has also scored twice for the Kings in nine NHL appearances this season.
SCOUTING THE SILVER KNIGHTS: The AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, Henderson sits in ninth place in the Pacific Division standings with an overall record of 16-27-0-4 from 47 games this season. Gage Quinney is leading the Silver Knights in overall scoring with 35 points in 42 games on a team-high 19 goals and 16 assists. Former Reign forward Sheldon Rempal is second in scoring for Henderson this season with 32 points and a team-high 20 assists, while Byron Froese ranks third with 27 points on eight goals and 19 helpers. Defender Lukas Cormier leads the team from the back end with 24 points on six goals and 18 assists. In goal, Jiri Patera has appeared in 20 games during his third season with Henderson, posting a 2.66 goals-against average and a team-leading 0.916 save percentage, while Laurent Brossoit has also played 23 games and holds a 2.72 goals-against along with the team’s only two shutouts of the season.
PETERSEN PUTTING UP A FIGHT: Cal Petersen, who has played the most games of any goaltender in Reign history (136) and second-most in franchise history behind Martin Jones (158), had a busy series prior to the All-Star break, turning aside 38 shots last Friday before denying 36 on Saturday to earn his 10th AHL win of the season. He showed no signs of rust Friday when he returned from the time off, stopping 26 shots in regulation and another three shooters during the shootout win. The netminder has now allowed two or fewer goals in each of his past five starts to lower his season AHL goals-against average to 2.59 while strengthening his save percentage to 0.919.
SUPERIOR SPENCE: Jordan Spence has continued to be a difference-maker for Ontario on defense while helping the offensive end with assists in nine of his last 12 contests to increase his season total to 30 helpers which ranks second on the roster. 16 of the second-year blueliner’s helpers have come via the power play, which is sixth-most in the AHL. Spence also ranks fourth in defensive scoring with 33 points (3-30=33) and is one shot behind Bakersfield’s Michael Kesselring for the lead among blueliners with 126 shots on net. The Sydney, Australia native has also suited up for three games with the LA Kings this season, adding to his 27 career games at the NHL level with the club that selected him in the fourth round of the 2019 NHL Draft.
TYNAN HELPS PACIFIC TO ALL-STAR CLASSIC TITLE: Reign captain TJ Tynan had an impressive performance on Monday in the AHL’s All-Star Classic held in Laval, Quebec, helping to lead a team of Pacific Division skaters to victory in the championship game of the 3-on-3 showcase. Tynan led all players in the event with six points by totaling three goals and three assists in three games of round-robin play. The Pacific team knocked off the Atlantic Division 1-0 in the final matchup to take home the trophy for the first time since the showcase adopted the current format. Tynan was recently named the AHL’s Player of the Month for January, totaling 25 points in 14 games on three goals and 22 assists. He currently ranks second in the league in scoring, posting 55 points with seven goals and a league-high 48 assists.
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