WHO: Ontario Reign (10-4-1-1) at San Jose Barracuda (4-7-4)
WHAT: AHL REGULAR-SEASON GAME #17
WHEN: Saturday, November 25 @ 2:00 PM Pacific
WHERE: Tech CU Arena – San Jose, CA
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – TWITTER: @ShafReign & @OntarioReign
TODAY’S MATCHUP: The Ontario Reign are set for the back half of a two-game series with the San Jose Barracuda on Saturday afternoon at Tech CU Arena after a shutout performance Friday in a 3-0 win.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Friday’s win tied a Reign AHL franchise record for consecutive shutouts as Ontario posted its third straight blank slate. The last time the Reign earned three straight shutouts was in January of 2016, with goaltender Peter Budaj manning the crease for all three. Ontario has gone unbeaten in regulation during each of its last seven games dating back to the beginning of a five-game homestand that began on Nov. 8 and stretched through Nov. 19. The Reign have been at their best over the past week, outscoring opponents 13-0 over the past 180 minutes. Their successful play has moved them into second place in the Pacific Division with 22 points, while San Jose is in eighth with 12 points from 15 contests. The Reign have multiple players vying for the team’s scoring lead, which is currently a tie between captain TJ Tynan (2-15=17) and Alex Turcotte (4-13=17). Tynan’s 15 helpers are the most in the AHL, while defender Brandt Clarke has 16 points to lead all league blueliners (4-12=16).
LAST TIME OUT: David Rittich turned out all 32 shots that came his way to lead the Ontario Reign to their third consecutive shutout victory Friday night by a score of 3-0 over the San Jose Barracuda at Tech CU Arena. Rittich is now tied for the AHL league lead with three shutouts this season. The Reign’s goal scoring came from Samuel Fagemo, who found the back of the net for the third straight contest and has recorded points in all five of his appearances this season, Alex Turcotte, who also posted an assist, and TJ Tynan, who is tied with Turcotte for the club lead with 17 points. Ontario has now played 188 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Reign picked up points in five of the contests against San Jose last season, finishing with a 3-3-1-1 record against the Barracuda and an even number of goals for and goals against, scoring and allowing 25 in the series. Ontario was 2-2-0 at home inside Toyota Arena and posted a 1-1-1-1 record in four contests during the inaugural season of Tech CU Arena. The Reign scored six times on the man-advantage against the Barracuda last season while San Jose netted four power play goals. The Reign were led by TJ Tynan and Lias Andersson in the series against the Barracuda, who each had seven points in the eight matchups between the two teams. Andersson had two goals and five assists, while Tynan totaled a goal and six helpers. Tyler Madden scored six times in the series to lead Ontario, while Taylor Ward and Jacob Moverare both accounted for six points on two goals and four assists.
FIREY FAGEMO: Forward Samuel Fagemo has made a big impact since returning to the Reign prior to last Sunday’s win over Colorado, posting nine points in his first five games with Ontario this season. Fagemo has been on the scoresheet in all those contests, scoring a goal in his first appearance before adding an assist last Friday, finding the back of the net twice in both Sunday and Tuesday’s shutout victories and netting a goal and an assist in San Jose on Friday. The attacker started the regular season with the Nashville Predators and earned a goal in four outings with the club but was placed on waivers and re-claimed by the LA Kings before being assigned to Ontario. In 156 career AHL games with Ontario, Fagemo has 102 points on 66 goals and 36 assists.
CLARKE KEEPS IT CONSISTENT: Rookie defender Brandt Clarke was on the scoresheet for the eighth consecutive game Friday in San Jose, assisting on Alex Turcotte’s third period insurance goal. Clarke, who also had a pair of assists earlier this week in a defeat of Coachella Valley, has also been on the scoresheet in 10 of his last 11 outings, including seven consecutive home games at Toyota Arena. The blueliner has four goals and 12 assists on the season and is just one point behind team scoring leaders TJ Tynan and Alex Turcotte. The Ottawa, Ont. native leads Ontario in power play scoring with seven points (2-5=7). Through 16 games in 2023-24, Clarke has sent 58 shots on net, which ranks second-most in the AHL among defensemen.
SCOUTING THE BARRACUDA: San Jose came into this weekend’s series after defeating San Diego at home on Tuesday by a 5-4 score, but were swept last weekend by the Colorado Eagles, losing 5-2 last Friday before falling 3-2 in overtime the following night. The Barracuda were the first team out of the postseason in the pacific last spring, finishing in eighth place with a record of 31-34-2-5 and 69 points. Forward Danil Gushchin, who posted 45 points as a rookie last year, leads the team with 13 points in 14 games this season on four goals and nine assists. Forwards Justin Bailey, Ethan Cardwell and Cole Cassels each have 11 points, while defender Leon Gawanke leads the team’s blueliners with nine points on two goals and seven helpers. Goaltender Georgi Romanov has appeared in eight contests for San Jose while posting a 3-2-2 record and a 3.50 goals-against average.
TURCOTTE TOPS THE LIST: Forward Alex Turcotte kept his hot play going Friday night, posting a goal and an assist to increase his season point total to 17 while appearing in each of Ontario’s first 16 contests. Turcotte’s scoring total has already matched his output from a year ago when he posted 17 points in 32 games on six goals and 11 assists. The former first-round selection by the LA Kings in 2019 is on a four-game point streak which has included three multi-point games and a total of seven points on two goals and five helpers to go along with a +5 rating. The run has also made him the highest-rated player on the Reign this season at plus-8.
2023-24 Head-to-Head Schedule vs. San Jose (all times Pacific):
Fri., Nov. 24 at San Jose, 3-0 W – Full Recap
Sat., Nov. 25 at San Jose, 2:00 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 5 vs. San Jose, 7:00 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 6 vs. San Jose, 6:00 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 9 at San Jose, 7:00 p.m.
Tue., Feb. 27 vs. San Jose, 7:00 p.m.
Wed., Mar. 27 at San Jose, 7:00 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 6 vs. San Jose, 6:00 p.m.