If you haven’t quite had your fill of NoCal vs. SoCal this weekend via the already completed Kings-Sharks series, Sunday offers up a hat trick of sorts when the Reign and Barracuda hook up for a matinee affair at TSPC.
After recently playing a few games with just five defensemen, Ontario will begin this one with a more traditional six rearguards available to patrol the blueline. Of note, Austin Strand returns to the Reign following a brief road trip with the Kings. He played Friday night in San Jose, but sat out Saturday’s game, so he should be well rested.
Also rejoining Ontario from that same trip are forwards Matt Luff and Lias Andersson. Neither has played since last Wednesday’s Reign win over the San Diego Gulls.
Matt Luff since recent assignment to AHL Ontario:
Game 1 — assist, tied for most SOG (4)
Game 2 — two goals, led all players with 7 SOG
Game 3 — game winning goal, led all players with 5 SOG
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) April 8, 2021
Martin Frk, who recently cleared NHL waivers, will be suiting up for his first game in a Reign uniform since February 8, 2020.
Today will mark only the third time the Pacific Division rivals have met up this season, with the two previous games hosted by San Jose all the way back in February.
Ontario Reign Projected Lineup for Sun. 4/11 vs. San Jose Barracuda
Lias Andersson – Rasmus Kupari – Martin Frk
Adam Johnson – Alex Turcotte – Matt Luff
Mikey Eyssimont – Akil Thomas – Arthur Kaliyev
Boko Imama – Brett Sutter – Aidan Dudas
Jacob Moverare – Sean Durzi
Daniel Brickley – Mark Alt
Markus Phillips – Austin Strand
Matt Villalta (starter)
Other Roster Notes:
— Sammy Fagemo and Quinton Byfield practiced with the Reign on Saturday. As we reported then, both are expected to sit out Sunday’s game for precautionary reasons.
— Cole Hults was injured in Ontario’s last game and remains sidelined.
— Devante Smith-Pelly and Nick Halloran are expected out as healthy scratches.
— Tyler Madden remains out indefinitely, with no timetable available yet regarding when he’ll resume skating.
Two updates to pass along:
Quinton Byfield is being classified as a lower body injury. Nothing structurally wrong. Day-to-day.
Cole Hults out w/ upper body injury. Expected to be a few weeks. Really unfortunate situation for the first year pro. Rough 6-8 months. He'll be fine. https://t.co/HlpwZBVgVx
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) April 9, 2021
Sunday’s puck drop is scheduled for 3pm PST and can be streamed through AHL TV.
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Photo courtesy of AHL San Diego Gulls