REIGN PREVIEW 4/13 – Ontario at Henderson

WHO: Ontario Reign (39-22-3-4) at Henderson Silver Knights (27-34-3-5)
WHEN: Saturday, April 13 @ 7:00 PM Pacific
WHERE: Lee’s Family Forum – Henderson, NV
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – AUDIO: Reign Radio TWITTER: @ShafReign & @OntarioReign

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: On the heels of Friday night’s overtime win over San Diego, the Ontario Reign are set to face-off against the Henderson Silver Knights on Saturday for the second time in 10 days at Lee’s Family Forum in Southern Nevada.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: With their spot in the postseason secure, Ontario is now focused on seeding for the opening round which will begin the week of April 22. The Reign are tied with the Tucson Roadrunners for second place in the division, each with 85 points after both teams claimed a win on Friday. Ontario can solidify a finish of no lower than fourth place with a win of any kind on Saturday, which would give them home ice in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Ontario is fourth in the league’s defensive rankings, allowing an average of just 2.68 goals per game this season. The Silver Knights are the lowest penalized team in the division on average, taking an average of just 10.46 penalty minutes per game. Only four teams in the AHL have taken a lower number of infractions this season. The Silver Knights are in eighth place in the standings and have been eliminated from playoff contention for the second consecutive year.

LAST TIME OUT: Samuel Fagemo hit the 40-goal plateau with a power play strike during the second period and then tacked on his 41st in overtime to give the Ontario Reign a 4-3 win over the San Diego Gulls in the team’s regular season finale at Toyota Arena on Friday night. The victory gave the Reign points in 14 consecutive home games to finish the year, tying the club record. Ontario’s captain TJ Tynan also chipped in with two assists, while Francesco Pinelli scored the opening goal of the game and Taylor Ward converted on a penalty shot in the third.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Ontario has a record of 4-1-1-1 against Henderson this season, including three multi-goal victories. The Reign secured a 4-1 win on Oct. 27 and had a 3-1 triumph on Dec. 6 before a 7-1 rout on Dec. 30. But they were shut out 3-0 by the Silver Knights on New Year’s Eve in Ontario and fell 4-3 in a shootout on Feb. 9. In the most recent matchup 10 days ago, the Reign won by a score of 5-4 in overtime on a deciding strike from Samuel Fagemo in the extra session. Overall, the Reign have outscored the Silver Knights by a 24-17 margin in the series. Henderson has held a 207-190 edge in shots on goal in the seven contests. Brandt Clarke has led all Reign skaters against the Silver Knights this season with nine points on two goals and seven assists, while TJ Tynan has totaled eight points on a goal and seven helpers and Samiel Fagemo has seven points on three goals and four assists. A year ago, Ontario posted a record of 4-4-0 from eight contests against Henderson, which included a 2-2-0 mark at each team’s venue.

FORTY FOR FAGEMO: Reign forward Samuel Fagemo continued his sensational season on Friday night, scoring twice to become just the second Ontario skater in team history to reach the 40-goal plateau. The only other attacker to do so was Martin Frk in 2021-22. When Fagemo scored his game-winning overtime tally he became the team’s all-time single-season goal scoring leader, accomplishing the feat in just 47 games this season. He is tied with Springfield’s Adam Gaudette for the league’s goal scoring lead, who has played in 63 games for the Thunderbirds in the AHL’s Atlantic Division. Both of Fagemo’s goals on Friday came via the power play, and the forward now leads the league with 18 man-advantage goals. He also tacked on his 10th game-winning tally, which surpassed teammate Akil Thomas for the AHL lead.

SCOUTING THE SILVER KNIGHTS: Henderson comes into Saturday’s matchup after dropping a 6-5 decision to San Jose earlier in the week on Wednesday night. The Silver Knights are led offensively by forward Grigori Denisenko, who has a team-high 52 points on 18 goals and 34 assists while appearing in 62 of the team’s 69 games. Former Reign forward Sheldon Rempal is the club’s leader in goal scoring with 26 tallies and has achieved 43 total points on the season. Dysin Mayo is the highest scoring blueliner on the roster with 22 points in 64 games on five goals and 17 assists. Jiri Patera has spent the most time in Henderson’s crease this season, playing in 24 games, but a recent recall has left the Silver Knights with Isaiah Saville and Jesper Vikman as their two remaining options in net. Saville has appeared in 21 contests and has a 3.09 goals-against average, while Vikman has produced a record of 6-7-2 from 17 outings.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Ontario finished its regular season home schedule by claiming points from 14 straight contests at Toyota Area. Since a Feb. 9 shootout loss to Henderson, the club has gone 11-0-0-3, turning around what was a slow start in the Inland Empire. During March, the team produced seven victories at home with the lone blemish coming as a 4-3 shootout loss to Coachella Valley on March 15. Overall, the Reign compiled a 19-11-2-4 record at home this season, accumulating 44 of their points in the standings in front of their fans which is the most of any team in the Pacific Division. In games played in the state of California, Ontario is 30-14-3-4.

TYNAN LEADING THE WAY: Reign captain TJ Tynan posted two assists on Friday night during the team’s overtime win over San Diego, extending his league lead in the category with 53 helpers on the season. In 68 games this year Tynan has produced 62 points, reaching the 60-point mark for the fifth time in his professional career. The 10th-year forward is tied for fifth in the AHL in overall scoring and has had six games with three or more assists this season. Tynan now ranks 54th all-time in league scoring with 589 points in 638 games played.

2023-24 Head-to-Head Schedule vs. Henderson (all times Pacific):
Fri., Oct. 27 at Henderson, 4-1 W – Full Recap
Wed., Dec. 6 vs. Henderson, 3-1 W – Full Recap
Wed., Dec. 13 vs. Henderson, 2-3 OTL – Full Recap
Sat., Dec. 30 at Henderson, 7-1 W – Full Recap
Sun., Dec. 31 vs. Henderson, 0-3 L – Full Recap
Fri., Feb. 9 vs. Henderson, 3-4 SOL – Full Recap
Wed., Apr. 3 at Henderson, 5-4 OTW – Full Recap
Sat., Apr. 13 at Henderson, 7:00 p.m.

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