REIGN PREVIEW 11/8 – Ontario vs. Tucson

WHO: Ontario Reign (5-4-0) vs. Tucson Roadrunners (5-3-0)
WHEN: Wednesday, November 8 @ 7:00 PM Pacific
WHERE: Toyota Arena – Ontario, CA
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – AUDIO: Reign Radio – TWITTER: @ShafReign & @OntarioReign

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Ontario Reign meet the Tucson Roadrunners for the first time during the 2023-24 season Wednesday night at Toyota Arena. Ontario is looking to get back on track after dropping a pair of contests in Colorado last weekend against the Eagles.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Each with five wins to their name, the Reign and Roadrunners are tied for fifth place in the AHL’s 10-team Pacific Division and are four points back of Henderson and the top spot. Ontario has been an evenly balanced team as they reach the 10-game mark of the regular season, averaging 3.00 goals per game offensively while allowing 3.11 goals per contest which ranks them in the middle of the league in both categories. The Reign have been led by Charles Hudon, who turned things up a notch last weekend while returning to his former home in Colorado with five points in two games including four goals. Hudon’s team-high 11 points have come on seven goals and four assists. Just behind him is Alex Turcotte, who moved into second place among the team’s scoring leaders with three assists on Friday and now has nine points on the year (2-7=9). Wednesday’s contest is the first of eight scheduled matchups (four home, four away) between Ontario and Tucson this season.

LAST TIME OUT: The Colorado Eagles held off a late rally from the Ontario Reign in the third period on their way to a second straight 5-3 win Saturday night. Colorado was led by forward Oskar Olausson who scored twice in the contest, while Ontario got two goals from Charles Hudon for the second straight day in a losing effort. Reign captain TJ Tynan assisted on all three of his team’s goals in the contest, while Alex Turcotte scored during the team’s third period rally.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Ontario got the better of Tucson during the 2022-23 regular season, winning five of the eight matchups contested between the two clubs despite being outshot in the series. The Reign outscored the Roadrunners by a 22-19 margin and produced a 20% success rate on the power play, going 6-for-30 which included a 3-for-10 clip at home in Ontario. Tucson also had 30 power play opportunities in the series, but only converted four of them, giving the Reign an 86.7% penalty kill rate. TJ Tynan led Ontario against the Roadrunners with 10 points on a goal and nine assists a year ago, while Tyler Madden also made an impact for the Reign with six points in the series on three goals and three assists. Goaltender Matt Villalta, who is now part of the Tucson roster, went 2-0-0 against the Roadrunners with a 2.47 goals-against average.

HUDON TURNS HEADS IN RETURN: Forward Charles Hudon showed his most recent former team what they’re missing over the weekend, returning to Colorado and scoring five points in a two-game series, highlighted by four goals on his former teammate, goaltender Justus Annunen. Hudon led Ontario’s offense, factoring in on all three Reign tallies in a losing effort Friday before striking twice in the third period during a furious comeback effort Saturday. The attacker led the Eagles in scoring a year ago with 54 points in 61 regular season games on a team-high 29 goals and 25 assists and is now leading the Reign with 11 points this season through nine contests. The Alma, Que. native is 11 games away from hitting the 400-game mark during his eight-year AHL career.

SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS: Tucson comes into Wednesday’s game fresh off a home weekend sweep of the Chicago Wolves, winning by scores of 3-2 and 5-3 on back-to-back nights. The Roadrunners opened the season with a road sweep in Texas over the Stars before a six-game homestand which finished against Chicago on Saturday and saw them earn an even record of 3-3-0. Forward Dylan Guenther leads Tucson in scoring with seven points in eight games on two goals and five assists. Eight-year veteran Justin Kirkland, now in his first season with the Roadrunners after a run with San Diego last year, has a team-high six assists, while rookie Josh Doan has posted five goals to lead the club. Former Reign netminder Matt Villalta has starred with his new team, playing in seven of Tucson’s eight games and allowing just 16 goals for a goals-against average of 2.31 to go along with a 0.921 save percentage.

TURCOTTE RACKING UP POINTS: Forward Alex Turcotte earned assists on all three of Ontario’s goals in Friday’s loss to Colorado, tying single game career-highs in both assists and points. The Island Lake, Ill. native picked up an assist in each period of the contest, helping his linemates Charles Hudon and Martin Chromiak find the back of the net. He followed that up with his second goal of the season during the third period Saturday, giving him points in three straight and five of his last six outings. Through nine games in 2023-24, Turcotte is on a point-per-game pace, ranking second on the Reign in overall scoring with nine points on two goals and seven assists. The Kings’ former first round selection in the 2019 NHL Draft appeared in his 100th professional game Saturday night in Colorado, during which he has totaled 65 points with Ontario on 20 goals and 45 assists along with a +21 rating.

TYNAN SCORING IN BUNCHES: Ontario captain TJ Tynan is starting to heat up offensively, posting a pair of three-assist games over the last two weeks. Tynan, who tends to score in bunches, is now third on the club with eight points this season on a goal and seven assists. After picking up a trio of helpers in Henderson on Oct. 27, Tynan matched that output on Saturday in Colorado with three more in the third period on goals by Charles Hudon and Alex Turcotte. The veteran leader is closing in on 200 career points during his time with Ontario, currently sitting at 187 with 23 goals and 164 assists in a span of 143 games over three seasons. The Reign are used to seeing Tynan’s output come in bunches, as he had 26 multi-point games a year ago and 32 in his first season with Ontario during 2021-22.

2023-24 Head-to-Head Schedule vs. Tucson (all times Pacific):
Wed., Nov. 8 vs. Tucson, 7:00 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 10 vs. Tucson, 7:00 p.m.
Tue., Nov. 28 vs. Tucson, 7:00 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 26 at Tucson, 6:00 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 27 at Tucson, 6:00 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 16 at Tucson, 6:00 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 17 at Tucson, 6:00 p.m.
Wed., Mar. 20 vs. Tucson, 7:00 p.m.

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