If you’re the Henderson Silver Knights, things went very well in your opening weekend. The AHL’s newest franchise got off to a rousing start, picking up wins in both games vs. the visiting Ontario Reign. More specifically, nine different players record goals for the Golden Knights affiliate – including: top prospect Peyton Krebs, as well as Reid Duke, the first player ever signed by the parent club. Goaltender Logan Thompson also finished with a .929 save percentage and only gave up a pair of goals in each game.
Over in the other locker room, coach John Wroblewski has some work to do with a very young Ontario Reign team. More than half of his starting forwards had no real professional experience to speak of. The addition of Tobias Bjornfot should have helped the defense in Game 2 — and the Reign did limit the opposition to just 22 shots on goal — yet, they still managed to give up six goals on Monday, after allowing five goals on Saturday.
This is a work in progress, no doubt.
For Game 2, the Reign with a lineup of:
Tyler Madden – Rasmus Kupari – Arthur Kaliyev
Mikey Eyssimont – Alex Turcotte – Akil Thomas
Blaine Byron – Quinton Byfield – Sammy Fagemo
Boko Imama – Brett Sutter – Aidan Dudas
Tobias Bjornfot – Cameron Gaunce
Daniel Brickley – Sean Durzi
Jacob Moverare – Mark Alt
After just surrendering the first goal of the game, things really took a dramatic turn on the ensuing faceoff, less than 10 minutes into the first period.
Both players were assessed game misconducts for fighting right at the faceoff. Now, with Imama out of the lineup, Wroblewski was forced to double-shift guys, causing a disjointed offense for the remainder of the game.
Adding injury to insult, the Reign also lost rookie defenseman Jacob Moverare in the first period.
It seemed like the Reign never really found their footing after this, at least not for any sort of extended time period. Even so, there were a few bright spots.
Sammy Fagemo picked up his first point of the night, assisting on a goal from Mark Alt. Then, later added a goal of his own. It came on the power play, from Rasmus Kupari and Sean Durzi.
Much like Game 1, from about the midway point of the second period on, it was the Silver Knights who controlled much of the action.
After traveling back to Southern California, the Reign will travel to Irvine next, for a Wednesday night date with the San Diego Gulls. It will be the first of 10 games this season between the teams who comprise perhaps the best rivalry in the AHL.Follow @mayorNHL