Making the history books wasn’t necessarily something the Ontario Reign hoped to do on Sunday evening. But alas, they were on the wrong end of Abbotsford Canucks first win in franchise history. It took a shootout, but the Canucks were able to edge the Reign, 3-2.

Game Recap

Here’s how the Reign lined up for this one:

It was a fairly uneventful opening 20 minutes, though Reign goaltender Jacob Ingham was asked to make a point-blank save on the opening shift. The Barrie, ON was strong overall in this game, but particularly in the first period. He turned away eight shots in the opening frame, but a handful of them were quality chances.

Ontario held a 22-15 edge in shot attempts in the first period (16-15 at 5 on 5) but were unable to convert on two power-play opportunities.

Abbotsford, on the other hand, made the most of their first look with the man advantage, thanks to this snipe from prospect Danila Klimovich:

The Reign would tie it up thanks to a shrewd line-tweak by head coach John Wroblewski. He put center TJ Tynan with Alex Turcotte and Samuel Fagemo for a shift, and it paid instant dividends:

For as strong as Ingham was in this game – he made 28 saves and then three more in the shootout – the second Abbotsford goal is one he’ll want back. It appeared that he was anticipating a deflection in front that never came:

However, the Reign would answer back thanks to a bit of a fortunate bounce off the boards behind the net. Brayden Burke was in the right place at the right time to convert for his first goal in a Reign uniform:

Though there were no goals in the third, Ontario controlled much of the play. They out-attempted the Canucks 24-17 in the period (23-12 at 5 on 5).

The Reign would get a power-play in overtime but were unable to take advantage. For the game, Ontario was 1-for-4 on the power-play, and the one was thanks to a fortunate bounce.

Neither team would score during the first three rounds as Tyler Madden, Fagemo, and Turcotte each missed. Martin Frk also missed for the Reign in the fourth round before Phil Di Giuseppe ended it for the Canucks.

Overall, the Reign were solid tonight but couldn’t make the most of their opportunities:

Box Score

Ontario Reign
TheAHL.com

The full box score is here.

Thoughts and Takeaways

  • TJ Tynan was the best player on the ice by a fairly significant margin. He set up Frk and Madden all night and had the primary assist on the Turcotte goal. The puck was on his stick all throughout the overtime period as well. His presence is very noticeable.
  • Madden had numerous opportunities in this one. Playing with Tynan, he’s going to get them. The young converted-winger is getting himself in positions to be on the receiving end of Tynan passes. If he’s continuing to get these looks, you’d imagine they’ll start to fall sooner or later.
  • Austin Wagner had a few opportunities tonight but couldn’t find the back of the net (a common refrain from his time in Los Angeles). He played in third-line role in this one, and I’d suspect this is where he’ll be long-term with the Reign. The Calgary native is a solid organizational depth piece at the moment.
  • Jaret Anderson-Dolan is seeing time on the power-play, and I think he’s looked good so far. Though he and Wagner played bottom-six roles with the Kings last season, Anderson-Dolan does show flashes of some higher upside. It’s just hard to see it being consistent enough.
  • Continuing the theme from the summer, the goaltending was again strong. As I noted, Ingham will want the second one back (we all do), but it happens. He answered the bell throughout the game and was strong in the shootout as well. No complaints between the pipes again.
  • I felt like there was an absence on the blueline with Jordan Spence not in the lineup. That’s not to say I thought there were any issues necessarily on the back-end. I just think that’s noteworthy to where it’s already noticeable when Spence isn’t in.
  • Helge Grans picked up his first AHL point, picking up an assist on the Turcotte goal. He made a strong, cross-ice pass to Tynan to initiate the play.
  • Jacob Moverare was solid in this one. I found it interesting that he started the overtime instead of the likes of Sean Durzi or Kale Clague, but the Swedish blueliner was quietly effective.

The Reign (1-0-0-1) will be back in action on Tuesday night at 7 pm PT when they host these same Canucks (1-1-0-0).

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2 thoughts

  1. Excellent article as usual with one notable exception, the Tuesday night game is in Ontario, CA not Abbotsford. Secondly, the Reign would’ve potted 4-5 goals if not for the sharpness if the Canuck goalie Silovs.

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