REIGN PREVIEW 3/10 – Ontario at Calgary

WHO: Ontario Reign (29-19-3-3) at Calgary Wranglers (29-19-4-2)
WHEN: Sunday, March 10 @ 5:00 PM Pacific
WHERE: Scotiabank Saddledome – Calgary, AB

As the Ontario Reign begin a two-game series in Calgary against the Wranglers on Sunday evening, the two teams are even in the Pacific Division standings with almost identical records and have each earned 64 points in the standings. Ontario is riding its longest winning streak of the 2023-24 campaign with six consecutive victories. If they’re able to extend the run Sunday, the Reign would secure sole possession of fourth place in the standings with another matchup against the Wranglers lurking on Monday.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: During their current six-game run, the Ontario has outscored opponents by a combined total of 23-9, earning five of their six victories at home inside Toyota Arena. Both the Reign and Wranglers are part of a group of five Pacific Division clubs that are separated by just three points in the standings, led by Tucson in third with 67, along with Abbotsford (64) and Bakersfield (64). The Reign rank sixth in the AHL on the defensive side of the puck, allowing 2.72 goals per game. Calgary is a top 10 defensive team in the league as well, ranking ninth with 2.85 goals allowed per contest. Ontario also has the third-best power play percentage in the league this season by scoring on 21.6% of its man-advantage opportunities. The Wranglers on the other hand have averaged the fifth-most shots on goal in the league per game at 31.6.

LAST TIME OUT: Two third period goals by Samuel Fagemo helped the Ontario Reign run their season-long winning streak to six games with a 5-3 victory over the Abbotsford Canucks at Toyota Arena on Wednesday night. Fagemo finished with three points in the game, while the Reign also got multi-point efforts from captain TJ Tynan, Hayden Hodgson and Francesco Pinelli, who all earned a goal and an assist in the win. Goaltender Aaron Dell made the start and stopped 21 shots to pick up his third straight win.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Reign have secured points from three of their five meetings with Calgary during 2023-24 and still have a chance to take the season series from the Wranglers with three games between the two remaining on the schedule. Ontario managed to claim three points from its first series of the year against Calgary in November and then split with the Wranglers north of the border in January. Calgary earned a win in the most recent matchup by a 3-1 score in Ontario on Feb. 3. The Reign have outscored the Wranglers 13-12 in this season’s series and have five power plays goals on 20 opportunities (25%) while killing off 21 of Calgary’s 23 chances (91.3%). Samuel Fagemo and Akil Thomas lead Ontario with five points in the series. Fagemo has scored four goals and one assist, while Thomas has three tallies and two helpers. Goaltender Dustin Wolf has played every minute during the series for the Wranglers, managing a 2.39 goals-against average.

FAGEMO KEEPS FIRING: Forward Samuel Fagemo had another memorable night Wednesday, scoring twice in the third period and adding an assist to increase his season point total to 47 in just 36 games. Fagemo has 13 multi-point outings this year and recently scored a career-high five points with three goals and two assists in a lopsided win over San Jose on Feb. 27. His second goal in Wednesday’s win was shot into an empty net during a power play for his league-leading 15th man-advantage goal. Fagemo’s 31 total goals rank second in the AHL, three behind Springfield’s Adam Gaudette who registered a hat trick on Saturday night but has played in 15 more games. The Goteborg, Sweden native’s overall point total ranks 11th in the league and has set a new individual career-high, surpassing a 44-point campaign during 2021-22. He has also accounted for seven game-winning goals, which is third-most in the AHL.

SCOUTING THE WRANGLERS: Rookie Forward Matt Coronado is Calgary’s top scorer this season, but the winger is currently in the NHL with the Flames after scoring 42 points in 40 AHL contests on 15 goals and 27 assists. Forward Ben Jones is second with 38 points and has a team-leading 19 goals while playing in all 54 of the club’s contests this year. Adam Klapka has also made an impact on the offensive end, scoring 33 points on 14 goals and 19 assists. Defender Jonathan Aspirot paces the blueliners with 26 points on four goals and 22 assists while fellow d-man Brady Lyle has 15 points on six goals and nine helpers assists. Goaltender Dustin Wolf has been at the top of his game, going 20-10-3 in 34 outings with a 0.924 save percentage.

TYNAN TOPS THE LIST: Ontario captain TJ Tynan has an AHL league-leading 42 assists this season while appearing in all 54 of the team’s games during the 2023-24 year. The veteran center has been highly effective during the Reign’s current win streak, posting a total of 10 points in his last six contests on two goals and eight assists. Tynan had three straight multi-assist efforts at the start of the run and most recently has found the back of the net in two of his last three games. Overall, the Orland Park, Ill. native’s 49 points rank ninth in the AHL, and he’ll aim for his third consecutive 50-point campaign with Ontario when he steps on the ice Sunday in Calgary.

PINELLI PUTTING UP POINTS: Forward Francesco Pinelli has had the best offensive stretch of his rookie campaign over the team’s past four games, posting points in three of the contests including his second multi-point night of the season on Wednesday with a goal and an assist in the win over Abbotsford. The Stoney Creek, Ont. native earned a second assist on Hayden Hodgson’s strike to get the Reign on the board early in the second period before picking up his first career power play goal late in the middle frame to give Ontario its first lead of the contest. Pinelli has 13 points in 49 games during his first professional season including eight goals and five assists. Three of those tallies have come in his last four outings.

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, 4-0 W – Full Recap
Thu., Jan. 11 at Calgary, 2-3 L – Full Recap
Fri., Jan. 12 at Calgary, 2-1 W – Full Recap
Sat., Feb. 3 vs. Calgary, 1-3 L – Full Recap
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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