With three games in four days, the Ontario Reign are gearing up for a busy stretch — and they’re going to be doing it while rather shorthanded.
Early Friday, the Kings placed Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Samuel Fagemo, Jacob Moverare, Austin Strand, and Jacob Ingham on the taxi squad. Meaning all five players would be available to LA during their road trip to Seattle on Saturday and potentially for the game in San Jose on Monday.
What that also means is the Reign are without those five players, plus Martin Frk, who is currently in protocol and unavailable to either team.
On the positive front, Akil Thomas has resumed skating over the past weekend and he’s tentatively targeted for a return against Tucson next weekend. The versatile forward missed several months to start the season while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Then, in only his second game back, he injured his foot while blocking a shot late in a game vs. San Diego in mid-December. His return can’t come soon enough for the Reign.
Also out injured right now is goaltender Garret Sparks. He was replaced mid-game last Saturday by Lukas Parik. The latter is only 20 years old and in his first pro season, although he’s considered one of the Kings top goaltending prospects. He’ll serve as backup tonight, with Matt Villalta — who is making his first start since a December 29 game in Bakersfield.
With less than 12 healthy forwards available tonight, the Reign will skate with seven defenseman. Among those in the mix are Christian Wolain, who was returned to the AHL by LA management earlier this week, along with a name that only the most diehard of Kings fans may recall — Marcus McIvor.
Marcus McIvor — an undrafted defensemen who attended Kings Development Camp back in 2013 — has been signed to a PTO by the Ontario Reign. https://t.co/IfLG9SVpg1
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) January 14, 2022
As for Henderson, they’re forming quite a rivalry with Ontario. During their inaugural campaign one year ago, the Silver Knights dominated the Reign — with Ontario finally beating their Nevada neighbor the final time they met last season. Thus far this year, the two teams have split a pair of games, with the road team winning each time. Tonight will serve as Game 1 of a back-to-back home-and-home series this weekend.
After playing the rematch tomorrow in Sin City, Ontario will return home for another game vs. Abbotsford on Monday.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. HENDERSON SILVER KNIGHTS on 1/14
Burke – Tynan – (open)
Vilardi – Byfield – Madden
Johnson – (open) – Wagner
Pavlychev – Sutter – Dudas
Other options include: Doty, Sodergran
Injured: Akil Thomas
Wolanin – Grans
Phillips – McIvor
Gaunce – Spence
Other options include: N/A
Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm tonight in Ontario and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
Lead photo of Byfield via Mike Zitek
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