Coming off a big win over the Colorado Eagles last Sunday, coach Marco Sturm has had all week to both enjoy the victory over one of Ontario’s toughest opponents and get his Reign team prepared for another daunting task this weekend.
It’s also given him an opportunity to work Sammy Fagemo back into a regular rotation during a few practices, after the 23-year-old forward was recently reclaimed off waivers from the Nashville Predators. Originally, he wasn’t expected to play vs. the Eagles, yet Fagemo asked in just a few hours after arriving in SoCal and promptly repaid the coaching staff with a goal.
Sturm will also be getting two additional players back tonight to help bolster Ontario’s lineup as they begin a two-game series vs. the Pacific Division leading Calgary Wranglers (10-1-1).
Up front, Kings prospect Andre Lee is expected to make his season debut. He was having a fantastic training camp, turning heads in both AHL and NHL circles, before being sidelined with a knee injury. The 6-foot-5 native of Sweden even wore the captain’s ‘C’ during one of the games at this year’s NHL Rookie Faceoff tournament in Las Vegas. He turned pro after three years at UMass Lowell, where he recorded 28 points in 34 games during his final season. Last year marked his rookie season in the AHL, where he predominantly played fourth line minutes for coach Marco Sturm, picking up six goals along the way.
After sitting out last game, we’re hearing that first-year pro Frankie Pinelli will suit up tonight, likely on a line with Martin Chromiak — somebody he seemed to have some chemistry with during the preseason.
On defense, the Reign will be welcoming back Toby Bjornfot. Originally selected late in round one at the 2019 NHL Draft, he’s played 95 games with the Reign previously, as well as 117 NHL games for the Kings. Standing 6-foot-1, Bjornfot will be looking to shake some rust off, as he hasn’t seen actual competition since getting 10:12 of ice time in his lone game for LA back on Oct. 11.
Meanwhile, Jacob Moverare was recalled by the Kings to take the roster spot vacated by Bjornfot. However, the team wasn’t quite done shuffling players around.
Look for the LA Kings to send Jacob Moverare back to AHL Ontario this afternoon.
The Reign host the red hot Calgary Wranglers (10-1-1) tonight. Sounds like they'll be loading up on D to face their division rival.
Full article coming soon.
— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) November 17, 2023
With this move, we’re expecting Moverare to slot in alongside his usual D partner, Brandt Clarke.
Last season, Ontario managed only one win over eight contests against Calgary. However, in their last game played against each other (Mar.12), the Reign had goals from Bjornfot, Chromiak, and Tyler Madden. Sturm is likely hoping that’s a sign of things to come for later this evening.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. CALGARY WRANGLERS
Madden – Tynan – Fagemo
Pinelli – Maltsev – Chromiak
Ward – Turcotte – Thomas
Lee – Helenius – Doty
Other options include: Francis, Hodgson, Hudon, Ward
Bjornfot – Connauton
Nousiainen – Santini
Other options include: Hicketts, Krygier
Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm Pacific Time and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
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