The Denver suburb of Loveland continues to be a giant hill of horrors for the Ontario Reign.
Not only have Colorado Eagles swept Ontario out of the Calder Cup Playoffs three straight years, they also ended a five-game road winning streak for coach Marco Sturm’s bunch on Friday night. Tied 1-1 after 20 minutes in the opening game of a back-to-back weekend set, the Reign were never that close again. Colorado went on to build 3-1 and 4-2 leads before Martin Chromiak scored just past the midpoint of period three to at least makes things interesting. Despite Kings prospect Alex Turcotte assisting on all three Reign goals (he now has eight points in eight games played this season), it wasn’t enough, as Ontario eventually fell 5-3 to their Pacific Division nemesis.
Now comes the challenging part for Sturm and the Reign — put all of the past away and focus on Night 2. Get the split in Colorado and fly home to reset before hosting Tucson for a pair of games beginning Wednesday at home.
With 33 saves on 38 shots last night, rookie goalie Erik Portillo took his first loss of the season. Even with a win, Sturm was most likely going back to veteran David Rittich vs. the Eagles tonight anyway due to his team playing on consecutive nights.
Without a morning skate earlier today, the lineup below is truly a projection. If anything, Sturm could opt to slide Ryan Francis back into the lineup; most likely at the expense of Nikita Pavlychev or Taylor Ward. Defensively, resting Kim Nousiainen in favor of another defenseman seems to always be in play.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. COLORADO EAGLES
Maltsev – Tynan – Madden
Hudon – Turcotte – Chromiak
Pinelli – Thomas – Ward
Pavlychev – Helenius – Doty
Other options include: Francis, Hodgson
Moverare – Clarke
Nousiainen – Santini
Krygier – Connauton
Other options include: Hicketts, Wylie
Puck drop is scheduled for 6pm Pacific Time and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
Lead graphic via ALo Images
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com