Normally, when an AHL team splits their prior series, that’s not the leading story heading into the next game. However, by knocking off two of the league’s top clubs in the same week, it’s certainly noteworthy.
The Reign have actually come away with points in four straight, most recently taking down Pacific Division powerhouse Calgary 4-0 on Sunday. That game also marked Kings prospect Erik Portillo’s first shutout in net. Ontario’s only loss during this stretch came two nights earlier via a shootout to those same Wranglers.
Coach Marco Sturm’s club also exorcized a demon of sorts by defeating the Colorado Eagles 4-2 to begin their most recent run of strong play. They’ve been a thorn in Ontario’s side for quite some time, including eliminating them from the Calder Cup playoffs each of the past three seasons.
Things don’t get any easier from here.
Next up, Sturm and the Reign are in Coachella Valley on Tuesday night to take on the defending Western Conference Champions.
After posting a 3-4-1 record against the Firebirds last year during the Firebirds inaugural season, the Reign secured a 1-0 win when the club’s met up last month. David Rittich was in goal that night and we’re expecting him to man the crease again for this one.
Perhaps the only lineup change Sturm will make tonight at forward will be with rookie Franky Pinelli, who should be given strong consideration after sitting out a few games recently.
Jacob Moverare will potentially rejoin the Reign after serving as an extra defenseman last night for the Kings. That move is still pending. If he’s not recalled in time, look for Cole Krygier to draw in and Toby Björnfot to likely be paired with Brandt Clarke.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. COACHELLA VALLEY FIREBIRDS
Madden – Tynan – Fagemo
Pinelli – Maltsev – Chromiak
Ward – Turcotte – Thomas
Lee – Helenius – Doty
Other options include: Francis, Hodgson, Hudon, Ward
Bjornfot – Santini
Nousiainen – Connauton
Other options include: Hicketts, Krygier
Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm Pacific Time and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
Game day graphic via ALo Images
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