REIGN PREVIEW 3/11 – Ontario at Calgary + Fagemo Named AHL Player of the Week

WHO: Ontario Reign (30-19-3-3) at Calgary Wranglers (29-20-4-2)
WHEN: Monday, March 11 @ 6:00 PM Pacific
WHERE: Scotiabank Saddledome – Calgary, AB

The Ontario Reign will look to complete a sweep of the Calgary Wranglers at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday night in the second game of a back-to-back series after securing a 5-1 win Sunday evening. Doing so would have them join Coachella Valley and San Diego as the only teams who have won consecutive games on the road in Calgary this season. With Sunday’s victory, the Reign stand alone as the fourth place team in the Pacific Division and are now just one point behind Tucson for third.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Ontario is currently riding its longest winning streak of the 2023-24 campaign with seven consecutive victories and are unbeaten in regulation in eight straight contests, dating back to Feb. 21. During their current run, Ontario has outscored opponents by a combined total of 28-10, earning five of their seven 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 now rank fourth in the AHL on the defensive side of the puck, allowing 2.69 goals per game. Calgary is just outside of the top 10 defenses in the league, ranking 11th with 2.89 goals allowed per contest. Ontario also has the third-best power play percentage in the league this season by scoring on 21.8% of its man-advantage opportunities. The Wranglers on the other hand have averaged the fourth-most shots on goal in the league per game at 31.7.

LAST TIME OUT: Backed by Samuel Fagemo’s third hat trick of the season, the Ontario Reign earned their 30th win of the year with a 5-1 victory over the Calgary Wranglers at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday night. Goaltender Erik Portillo secured the win in net for the Reign by stopping 38 of the 39 shots he faced. Other multi-point scorers for Ontario in the contest included Taylor Ward, who had a goal and an assist, as well as Charles Hudon who posted two helpers.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Reign have secured points from four of their six meetings with Calgary during 2023-24 by going 3-2-0-1 and still have a chance to take the season series from the Wranglers with two 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 last month on Feb. 3 in Ontario by a 3-1 score. The Reign have outscored the Wranglers 18-13 in this season’s series and have six power plays goals on 23 opportunities (26.1%) while killing off 23 of Calgary’s 26 chances (88.5%). Samuel Fagemo leads Ontario with eight points in the series on seven goals and one assist, while Akil Thomas has three tallies and two helpers. Goaltender Dustin Wolf has played every minute during the series for the Wranglers, managing a 2.67 goals-against average.

FAGEMO EARNS PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: The AHL announced Monday that Samuel Fagemo has been selected as the Howies Hockey Tape/AHL Player of the Week after scoring five goals and six total points in two outings for Ontario during the past five days. Fagemo netted game-winning goals in both of those contests, with three points (2-1=3) on Wednesday against Abbotsford and a hat trick on Sunday in Calgary. The attacker now has 11 multi-goal games during 2023-24 and owns a share of the AHL lead with 34 goals in just 37 games for Ontario. His eight game-winning goals is tied for the league lead, as are his 16 power play tallies, which are the most by any Ontario skater in team history. Fagemo has also totaled a career-high 50 points this season which rank eighth-most in the AHL. In his four seasons with the Reign, Fagemo has 144 points in 188 contests on 94 goals and 50 assists.

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 55 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 27 points on four goals and 23 assists while fellow d-man Brady Lyle has 15 points on six goals and nine helpers. Goaltender Dustin Wolf has been at the top of his game, going 20-11-3 in 35 outings with a 0.923 save percentage.

TYNAN TOPS THE LIST: Ontario captain TJ Tynan has an AHL league-leading 43 assists this season while appearing in all 55 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 11 points in his last seven contests on two goals and nine assists. Tynan had three straight multi-assist efforts at the start of the run and most recently has found the back of the net with two goals in his last four games. Overall, the Orland Park, Ill. native’s 50 points have him tied for eighth in the AHL alongside teammate Samuel Fagemo. His assist on Sunday put him at the 50-point plateau for the third consecutive season and fifth time in his 11-year career.

HUDON LENDS A HELPING HAND: Forward Charles Hudon has hit his stride during the last month, racking up 13 points from his previous 11 games on three goals and 10 assists. The Alma, Que. native posted helpers on two of Ontario’s goals in Sunday’s win in Calgary, earning a second assist on Samuel Fagemo’s opening power play goal as well as the primary assist on Taylor Ward’s second period strike. Hudon also has three other multi-point games during his recent hot stretch including back-to-back two-assist performances in Tucson Feb. 16-17 and a three-assist night in a win over San Diego on the first night of March. Overall, Hudon has totaled 46 points from 50 games this season on 18 goals and 28 assists. His 28 helpers are the second-most during his seven-season AHL career, trailing only his rookie campaign when he racked up 38 with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

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, 5-1 W – Full Recap
Mon., Mar. 11 at Calgary, 6 p.m.
Fri., Mar. 22 vs. Calgary, 7 p.m.

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