For the first as part of the 2023-24 AHL campaign, the Coachella Valley Firebirds will visit Toyota Arena on Friday night. However, they have already met up with the Reign twice this season — and been shutout in both games by goaltender David Rittich.
He’s expected back in net tonight, with rookie goaltender Erik Portillo likely penciled in to take over the crease in tomorrow night’s back end of the home-and-home weekend series between the two clubs.
Unlike last year, where Coachella Valley were one of the darlings of the league, it has been coach Marco Sturm’s squad that has been making more noise this time around. He has the Reign currently sitting second in the Pacific Division and they’ve earned points in eight of their last 10 games.
Based on this morning’s pregame skate, it appears Sturm will continue the pattern implemented since the beginning of November, where rookie Franky Pinelli sits out a game after playing. On Tuesday, he recorded two shots on goal and was held pointless. Interestingly, his last goal came against the Firebirds on Nov. 21; part of a 6-0 lopsided win by Ontario in Coachella Valley.
Kings prospect Brandt Clarke had two assists that night, both coming on goals by Sammy Fagemo. The rookie defensemen continues to lead all AHL blueliners with 18 points (5G, 13A).
In that same game, Martin Chromiak posted the final goal of the night. He is expected to return to the lineup this evening, after sitting out Tuesday’s game with an undisclosed ailment.
Look for the LA Kings to activate Toby Björnfot off of injured reserve and assign him to AHL Ontario. He is expected to resume his conditioning assignment tonight. https://t.co/jAnsmDbFnO
— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) December 1, 2023
Also returning tonight — and resuming his conditioning assignment — is Toby Björnfot. He should play the next three games with Ontario (Friday, Saturday, Wednesday) and then rejoin the Kings.
Recently, Reign GM Rich Seeley stopped by Kings Of The Podcast to talk about all of those players. Check out the link below if you missed it.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. COACHELLA VALLEY FIREBIRDS
Madden – Tynan – Fagemo
Hudon – Maltsev – Chromiak
Ward – Turcotte – Thomas
Lee – Helenius – Doty
Other options include: Hodgson, Pinelli
Moverare – Clarke
Inamoto – Bjornfot
Krygier – Connauton
Other options include: Hicketts, Nousiainen, Santini, Wylie
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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