REIGN PREVIEW 11/19 – Ontario vs. Calgary

WHO: Ontario Reign (7-4-1-1) vs. Calgary Wranglers (11-1-1)
WHEN: Sunday, November 19 @ 3:00 PM Pacific
WHERE: Toyota Arena – Ontario, CA
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – AUDIO: Reign Radio – TWITTER: @ShafReign & @OntarioReign

TODAY’S MATCHUP: The Ontario Reign close out their five-game homestand Sunday afternoon with a second consecutive matchup against the Calgary Wranglers at Toyota Arena. The Reign have secured points from each of the first four games during the home stretch with a record of 2-0-1-1.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Reign enter Friday’s contest in fifth place in the Pacific Division with 16 points in the standings after their first 13 games this season. The Wranglers are the top team in the AHL with a 0.885 points percentage and are tied for the longest current winning streak in the league at five games. Calgary has outscored opponents by a combined total of 49-31, the widest positive margin in the league this season (+18). Prior to this weekend’s series, Ontario had won back-to-back games over Tucson and Colorado last weekend by scores of 2-1 and 4-2. The Wranglers swept a home series against Bakersfield earlier this week with wins of 6-3 and 4-1 on Tuesday and Wednesday before traveling to Southern California. The Reign have had an evenly balanced team thus far during their first 13 games of the regular season, scoring 40 total goals while allowing 40 which comes out to an average of about three per game on both sides of the puck. Ontario has been led by Charles Hudon and captain TJ Tynan, who have each posted 12 points. Hudon’s seven goals lead the club, while Tynan has a team-high 11 assists. Sunday’s contest is the second of eight scheduled matchups (four home, four away) between Ontario and Calgary this season.

LAST TIME OUT: The Calgary Wranglers came away with an extra point Friday night after a back-and-forth battle with the Ontario Reign that ended in a shootout with a 5-4 score at Toyota Arena. In his first game of the season after returning from injury, Andre Lee found the back of the net twice for Ontario. Alex Turcotte also had a multi-point night, scoring a goal and an assist for the Reign in a losing effort.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Reign struggled against the Wranglers last season, who were one of the top teams in the AHL all year and finished with the best record in the league at 51-17-3-1 and 106 points. Calgary won seven of the eight matchups during the 2022-23 season series while doubling Ontario’s goal total (28-14). The Wranglers scored eight times on the man-advantage in the series, while the Reign managed four power play goals from 31 opportunities (12.9%). TJ Tynan (1-5=6) was just behind Lias Andersson (6-1=7) as the Reign’s scoring leader against Calgary a year ago. Wranglers forward Connor Zary had a team-high nine assists and 10 points while appearing in all eight contests of last year’s series. Zary recently made his NHL debut with the Flames earlier this month. Mitch McLain added five points with a goal and four assists and goaltender Dustin Wolf was 7-0-1 against the Reign while playing every minute of action in the series with a save percentage of 0.945.

LEE RETURNS WITH A BANG: Forward Andre Lee scored twice for Ontario Friday night in his first game of the 2023-24 campaign, finding the back of the net twice in a game for the second time in his pro career. The second-year skater suffered a preseason injury that delayed the start of his season, but he looked like he was in midseason form upon return, scoring on a wrist shot off a feed by Jacob Doty early in the second before redirecting a shot by Jacob Moverare past Dustin Wolf at the seven-minute mark of the third. Lee is looking to improve on a rookie season that saw him post nine points in 58 games on six goals and three assists. Overall, the former seventh-round selection by the LA Kings in the 2019 NHL Draft has 13 points in 70 career AHL games with the Reign.

DO IT WITH DOTY: Forward Jacob Doty has been scoring at the right times for Ontario early on this season and earned his first assist of the year Friday on a goal by Andre Lee to extend his current point streak to a season-high three games. The Billings, Montana native’s first three goals of the season all held up as the deciding tally in a Reign victory, with previous game-winners scored in Henderson on Oct. 27, two nights later to beat Abbotsford on Oct. 29 and last Friday’s 2-1 win against the Roadrunners on Nov. 10. The rugged forward has already tied his AHL career-high of four goals which came for the Chicago Wolves during the 2015-16 regular season when he also had eight points.

SCOUTING THE WRANGLERS: Forward Ben Jones leads the Wranglers with 13 points in 13 games on four goals and nine assists. Just behind him are forwards Emilio Pettersen and Adam Klapka, who have each posted 10 points with Klapka scoring a team-high five goals on the year. Defender Jeremie Poirier paces the blueliners with seven points on a goal and six assists while fellow d-man Brady Lyle has six points on an even three goals and three assists. While goaltender Dustin Wolf has been excellent as always, going 6-1-0 in seven games with a 0.913 save percentage, Oscar Dansk has also been great in between the pipes and has a 5-0-1 record with a 1.97 goals-against average and a 0.941 save percentage.

CLARKE KEEPS IT CONSISTENT: Rookie defender Brandt Clarke posted another assist in Friday’s shootout loss, extending his current point streak to five games. Clarke has also been on the scoresheet in seven of his last eight outings. The blueliner has three goals and eight assists on the season and is just one point behind team scoring leaders Charles Hudon and TJ Tynan. Two of Clarke’s goals have come on the man-advantage this season, joining Hudon as the only two Reign skaters to score multiple times on the power play. The Ottawa, Ont. native leads Ontario in power play scoring with four points (2-2=4). Through 13 games in 2023-24, Clarke has sent 48 shots on net, which ranks as the third-most in the AHL among defensemen. The Kings’ former first round selection in the 2021 NHL Draft is also among the top 10 of the league’s defensive scorers early on this season.

2023-24 Head-to-Head Schedule vs. Calgary (all times Pacific):
Fri., Nov. 17 vs. Calgary, 4-5 L (SO) – Full Recap
Sun., Nov. 19 vs. Calgary, 3 p.m.
Thu., Jan. 11 at Calgary, 6 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 12 at Calgary, 6 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 3 vs. Calgary, 6 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 10 at Calgary, 5 p.m.
Mon., Mar. 11 at Calgary, 6 p.m.
Fri., Mar. 22 vs. Calgary, 7 p.m.

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