Did the pandemic do anything to defuse the Ontario Reign and San Diego Gulls rivalry over the past 18 months? It was a fair question to ask 24 hours ago. Much has changed since they last played a regular season game against each other in front of fans on February 1, 2020 — including new head coaches behind both benches.
It only took one game into the new season for the question to be answered. These two teams haven’t liked each other for years, still don’t like each other, and will likely continue disliking each other for many years into the future.
Unlike that last game to be played with fans in the stands, which required overtime to decide things, the Reign were in firm control in their season opener on Saturday night in Ontario. Martin Frk open the scoring late in the first period and then added a power play goal less than 10 minutes later. After another Reign goal by defenseman Jacob Moverare, the Reign had a 3-0 lead and were in firm control for the balance of the game.
The same can’t be said for Gulls captain Sam Carrick, who added new fuel to the fire late in the game.
— Eric (@kingsgifs2) October 17, 2021
Full game highlights can be seen here:
Brett Sutter was wearing his usual captain’s C for the Reign in Game 1, while TJ Tynan and Martin Frk had A’s on their jerseys.
Defenseman Helge Grans is expected to officially make his AHL debut tonight. The 6-foot-2 blueliner is only 19 years old, yet he was one of the real standouts in Arizona last month at the Rookie Faceoff tournament. Look for him to play about half the games between now and early December when he’s expected to join Team Sweden for the World Junior Championships.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS on 10/17
Madden – Tynan – Frk
Johnson – Turcotte – Fagemo
Wagner – JAD – Dudas
Burke – Sutter – Doty
Other options include: Pavlychev and Sodergran
Clague – Strand
Moverare – Durzi
Gaunce – Grans
Other options include: Phillips and Spence
Other options include: Sparks
Puck drop is scheduled for 5pm tonight in Ontario and can be viewed via AHL TV.
Lead photo of Moverare by MayorsManor photographer Daniel Stopani
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