Similar to their NHL parent club in Los Angeles, the Ontario Reign started out the season by dropping a pair of games at home and then picking up two consecutive victories on the road. For Game 5 of the 2023-24 campaign, coach Marco Sturm Will take his squad to Coachella Valley on Wednesday night, where they will take on the defending AHL Western Conference champions.
Just like the Vegas Golden Knights several years ago, the Firebirds (who serve as the AHL affiliate for Seattle) had a wildly successful inaugural season. In their debut last year, Coachella Valley played to packed houses, seemingly never lost, and pushed the Calder Cup Final to game. 7 before ultimately losing.
That’s a hard act to follow, but they’re certainly going to give it a try. Thus far, they are 1-1. Tonight will mark the first of eight games between Ontario and Coachella Valley this season.
Last season, Sturm and the Reign compiled a 3-4-1 record against the Firebirds. They split the two games played in Coachella Valley.
— LA Kings PR (@LAKingsPR) October 25, 2023
While the above transactions are largely paper transactions designed as salary cap savings, there is always the possibility Jaret Anderson-Dolan plays at some point, as he’s been a healthy scratch when up in the NHL. JAD skated with the Reign earlier today in preparation for possibly drawing in. During his last AHL season, the versatile forward scored 24 goals in 54 games.
As for where he’d slot in, on the third line with Akil Thomas makes the most sense. Hayden Hodgson didn’t practice earlier this week after only playing a few shifts in Bakersfield on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Jordan Spence is a different situation; he’s been playing in LA for coach Todd McLellan.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. COACHELLA VALLEY FIREBIRDS
Maltsev – Tynan – Madden
Hudon – Turcotte – Chromiak
Pinelli – Thomas – Hodgson / JAD
Ward – Helenius – Doty
Other options include: Francis, Johnson, Pavlychev
Moverare – Clarke
Connauton – Santini
Krygier – Hicketts
Other options include: Nousiainen, Wylie
Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm Pacific Time and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
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