By now, most people following the Ontario Reign know the overarching narrative — they don’t like the Colorado Eagles.
And why would they? It’s the team who knocked them out of the playoffs three years running and they’re a solid, veteran club who are tough to beat.
Friday night marks the final regular season matchup between the two clubs at Toyota Arena. They’ll later finish off their eight-game season series with a pair of games in late April.
That’s a ways off. For now, the immediate concern is a rematch of Tuesday’s game, a night where the Reign fell behind 3-0 before ultimately losing 6-3. It was a frustrating night for coach Marco Sturm, as well.
“We get the momentum back, came back to 3-2 [in the second period], and with a minute left in a period you can’t take a stupid penalty like that,” he said, referring to a high-sticking penalty at 19:34 of the middle frame that led to an Eagles power play goal. “Four minutes left in the game, same thing. That’s something some of the guys have to learn. The PK, there’s a lot of pride in that when you’re on it, and when you’re on it you better get it done. So that, and probably some individual mistakes, cost us the game. We didn’t have the start at all. The guys were very tight.”
Ontario’s bench boss is likely hoping a few days of practice this week will help turn things around.
Oh, and the addition of a few familiar faces may help too.
Unfortunately, it does not appear like defenseman Jacob Moverare is quite ready to return from injury. Although he participated in yesterday’s full team practice in a regular colored jersey, he was on the ice for additional work this morning. Usually an indication of not playing. Perhaps tomorrow, though.
The team also made another roster move earlier today, assigning goaltender Jacob Ingham to ECHL Greenville to get some playing time.
With Aaron Dell now playing, Ontario Reign return goalie Jacob Ingham to ECHL Greenville – and it's really too bad.
He's having a phenomenal season after missing all of last yr w/back surgery. Was leading ECHL in wins prior to his recall, and posted .917 SV% in AHL. pic.twitter.com/J4XJOLyaNx
— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) February 2, 2024
We’re expecting Aaron Dell and rookie Erik Portillo to split the two starts in goal this weekend. One will get the nod tonight and the other should play on Saturday when Calgary comes to town.
REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. EAGLES
Hudon – Tynan – Fagemo
Ward – Turcotte – Thomas
Madden – Helenius – Chromiak
Young – Pinelli – Hodgson
Connauton – Clarke
Krygier – Haiskanen
Santini – Wylie
Other roster options include: (F) Francis and (D) Moverare, Nousiainen
Injured: Doty, Lee (out until March), Hicketts, Inamoto
Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm Pacific Time and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
Game day graphic via ALoImages
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