The day began with tonight’s Reign storyline setting up as Ontario and Bakersfield getting ready to meet for the first of two games, after their originally scheduled contest set for the day after Thanksgiving had to be postponed.
Simple enough, right?
Well, things have taken several dramatic turns since and we’d assume coach John Wroblewski had plenty of tape and chewing gum out when preparing tonight’s lineup card.
What should have been an exciting moment, with Akil Thomas drawing into a game for the first time since last season, quickly deteriorated into a bit of a scramble… and one that found the Reign with less than 12 healthy forwards as they prepare to play the Condors.
Just before warmups were set to begin in Kern County, we received word that forward Alex Turcotte — who would have served as the team’s top line center tonight — would be sidelined for this game (injured, non Covid).
It’s news that followed today’s earlier call-ups of centers TJ Tynan and Jaret Anderson-Dolan for the Kings road trip to Edmonton.
Effectively, the Reign lost their top three centers in the blink of an eye.
Need more? Austin Wagner was suspended one-game by the AHL, so he’s out tonight too.
But, hey, they’re getting Christian Wolanin back on D. That has to be a positive, right?
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. BAKERSFIELD on 12/4
Madden – Dudas – Vilardi
Burke – Thomas – Frk
Tkachev – Sutter – Fagemo
Johnson – x – Doty
Other options include: Sodergran (not 100% healthy)
Moverare – Spence
Wolanin – Grans
Phillips – Strand
Other options include: Gaunce (banged up on Tuesday in Abbotsford)
Bakersfield and Ontario have met up twice previously this season, once each at the other’s home arena. With scores of 3-2 and 6-3, the Reign came out victorious both times. Turcotte had a goal and three assists in those games, so he’ll be missed. Frk had a big night vs. Bako last time out, posting two goals and two assists.
In a separate Reign story posted this morning, we broke news of a new throwback jersey they’ll be wearing next Friday:
Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm tonight in Bakersfield and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
Warmies live in Bako…
First look at Akil Thomas back in an @ontarioreign jersey
— The Mayor | John Hoven (@mayorNHL) December 5, 2021
And Wolanin returns, wearing the A tonight… pic.twitter.com/UCqL9L5DY6
— The Mayor (@mayorNHL) December 5, 2021
— Jared Shafran (@ShafReign) November 22, 2021
Photos via MayorsManor photographers Mike Zitek (Fagemo) and ALo Images (Thomas)
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