Don’t look now, but the Ontario Reign have quietly put together a four-game winning streak. Following an opening weekend where they dropped a pair of games to San Diego, coach Marco Sturm’s squad went on the road and scooped up victories over the Gulls, Condors, Firebirds, and Silver Knights.
To close out their October schedule, the Reign will get their first look at the Abbotsford Canucks on Sunday afternoon.
We’ll have to wait until warmups for the official debut of this year’s special Dia De Muertos themed pregame jerseys, however Ontario’s white sweaters will feature a crest that’s similar to the 2023 t-shirt:
Last season, the Reign went 4-3-1 against the Canucks, including 3-1-0 at home. The next four games in their 8-game season series will all be contested in Canada. So, the two clubs won’t faceoff in SoCal again until late February.
For today’s matinee tilt at Toyota Arena, we’re expecting rookie goaltender Erik Portillo to get just his second start of the 2023-24 season. After all, he does have to play eventually, right?
Last Saturday in Bakersfield, Portillo needed only 15 saves to pick up his first AHL victory. The 23-year-old netminder will be looking to establish more confidence with Sturm and the coaching staff in hopes of getting more playing time moving forward.
As for the rest of the lineup, similar to how Todd McLellan has been using his LA Kings roster, Sturm has been running with a fairly steady lineup for each of the games thus far. He’s rotated a few guys in and out on defense (i.e. Kim Nousiainen and Cole Krygier) and it wouldn’t surprise us to see one of Nikita Pavlychev or Isaac Johnson draw in at forward this afternoon.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS
Maltsev – Tynan – Madden
Hudon – Turcotte – Chromiak
Pinelli – Thomas – Francis
Ward – Helenius – Doty
Other options include: Hodgson, Johnson, Pavlychev
Moverare – Clarke
Nousiainen – Santini
Krygier – Connauton
Other options include: Hicketts
Puck drop is scheduled for 3pm Pacific Time and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
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