To ring in the new year, Ontario will host Division rival Bakersfield later this afternoon – and the lineup will have some familiar faces back in the fold.
With goalies Matt Villalta and Jacob Ingham both unavailable to play (non-injury related), the Reign will once again turn to Garret Sparks. Despite an emotional and truly feel-good story when he was in net for a Kings victory over the Washington Capitals last month, Sparks time in the AHL this season has been met with mixed results. He’s 4-4 on the season, with all four of the losses coming in his last four starts for Ontario, including a 6-2 loss on Friday. His lone game against the Gulls came in San Diego on December 11, with the home team earning a 3-1 victory.
In his first year of pro hockey, 20-year-old Parik is 9-4-3 with the @RapidCityRush and has a .927 save percentage.
More on him here: https://t.co/3O9KAPvrzS
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) January 2, 2022
Backing Sparks up this afternoon will be the returning Lukas Parik.
For those unfamiliar, Parik and Ingham are considered the top two goaltending prospects in the Kings system (see article linked above). In a whirlwind 24 hours a few weeks back, Parik was recalled from the ECHL on an emergency basis on Saturday, December 18. He arrived in Ontario after the game had already started, served as the backup for the remainder of the night, and then immediately flew to Boise to join his ECHL team for a Sunday game. He also recently recorded his first pro shutout.
46 saves for Parik tonight
He continues to look every bit the part of a top goalie prospect for LA Kings. https://t.co/vmXiTlTJmN
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) December 28, 2021
Up front, Tyler Madden is expected to rejoin the Reign lineup. Despite missing the previous two games (non-injury related), he still sits second on the Reign with eight goals. After recording five points in 14 games last season, he’s put up 12 points in 21 games thus far this season.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. BAKERSFIELD CONDORS on 1/2
Tkachev – Tynan – Fagemo
Frk – Byfield – Vilardi
Dudas – JAD – Madden
Johnson – Sutter – Doty
Other options include: Burke, Pavlychev, Sodergran, and Wagner
Additional Info: Akil Thomas is sidelined for a few weeks
Moverare – Spence
Phillips – Strand
Gaunce – Grans
Other options include: Kasastul and Siebenaler
Puck drop is scheduled for 3pm today in Ontario and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
Lead photo of Byfield via Daniel Stopani
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