For the first time this year, the AHL’s best rivalry gets underway in San Diego on Friday night when the Reign and Gulls start their 8-game season series. Due to a new balanced AHL schedule format, that’s down from the 12 games they faced off in last year. Over that stretch, Ontario went 9-3 against the Anaheim Ducks top minor league affiliate.
First-year head coach Marco Sturm has guided his team to two victories in three games played this season, gathering wins against Abbotsford and Henderson. For tonight’s contest, it appears like he’s keeping the forward group largely the same, only replacing Nate Thompson with Austin Wagner. His defense is expected to remain as it was, while the goalies will flip – putting Pheonix Copley back in net.
As for the guys who have been out the past week or so, Andre Lee is close to returning. He could possibly be back as early as tomorrow. He’ll likely take warmups tonight in San Diego. Conversely, Kings prospect Martin Chromiak is still a ways away. He hasn’t even returned to practicing with the team yet. That would be step one.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. SAN DIEGO GULLS
Andersson – Tynan – Fagemo
Quine – Kupari – Ward
Dudas – Thomas – Madden
Wagner – Helenius – Doty
Björnfot – Spence
Bisson – Grans
Nousiainen – Gaunce
Game scratches: Kemp, Thompson, Inamoto
Injury / Illness: Allard, Chromiak, Lee
Unavailable: Turcotte (see here for further update)
Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm PST tonight and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
Lead Photo via Mike Zitek
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