The Ontario Reign return home for a meeting with the Abbotsford Canucks in Ontario’s first of three home games this week.

Fresh off a home-and-home sweep of the Henderson Silver Knights, the Ontario Reign (18-6-3-1) are back at Toyota Arena for a matchup with the Abbotsford Canucks.

Abbotsford (11-12-3-1) also played this past Friday and Saturday, splitting a pair with the San Diego Gulls. The Canucks enter the game on a bit of a slide, winning just once in their previous six games.

Tale of the Tape

Powerplay

ONT: 26.5% (2nd)

ABB: 19.1% (15th)

Penalty Kill

ONT: 72.0% (30th)

ABB: 82.0% (15th)

Goals Per Game

ONT: 3.89

ABB: 3.00

Goals Against Per Game

ONT: 3.11

ABB: 3.07

Key Players

ONT: T.J. Tynan – 6 goals, 28 assists, 34 points (1.55 points per game)

ABB: Sheldon Dries – 13 goals, 11 assists, 24 points (1.00 points per game)

Here are three things to watch for on Monday:

1. Familiar foes

This will be the seventh meeting of the season between the Reign and Canucks. If history is any indication, this should be a close one.

In the first six meetings, Ontario is 3-2-0-1, with five of the games being one-goal games and three of them needing overtime or a shootout.

The Special Teams battle in the first six meetings has also been a virtual dead heat. The Reign is 7-for-32 on the power play (21.9%), while Abbotsford has gone 5-for-23 (21.7%) with the man-advantage.

In the shot-attempt department, things have also been close. Here are the per-game averages of the first six games:

vs Abbotsford Shot Attempts For Shot Attempts Against CORSI CF%
All Strengths 61 53 8 53.5%
5v5 41 42 -1 49.4%
All Strengths HD 20 16 4 55.6%
5v5 HD 13 12 1 52.0%

On average, Ontario has been better overall, likely in part due to having nine more power plays. At 5-on-5, it’s been just about break-even, while the Reign have held the edge in High Danger attempts.

2. Hot Reign

Five Ontario Reign skaters are on point streaks of at least four games:

  • T.J. Tynan (4 game point streak) = 1 goal, 8 assists, 9 points
  • Gabriel Vilardi (5 game point streak) = 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points
  • Quinton Byfield (5 game point streak) = 4 goals, 2 assists, 6 points
  • Jordan Spence (5 game point streak) = 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points
  • Tyler Madden (4 game point streak) = 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points

In addition to his point streak, Madden has three goals in his last three games. It isn’t a coincidence that (at least in my opinion) the best line for the Reign of late has been that of Vilardi – Byfield – Madden.

While Vilardi has been a consistent producer since joining Ontario, and Byfield had been showing signs of breaking out for a while, the change seems to have benefited Madden the most. In his four games before his streak, he had just one point.

3. Stopping Sheldon

Fortunately for Ontario, there will only be one Sheldon to have to attempt to slow down on Monday. While Sheldon Dries will be in the lineup, Sheldon Rempal is currently with the NHL club. Despite playing two seasons in Ontario, the Reign will not miss Rempal. He has eight points in the six games between the two teams.

Dries has also been a thorn in the side of the Reign. The Wisconsin native has seven goals and nine points in the six meetings, including a hat trick in the most recent game on December 1st.

Between the pipes, the Canucks have just one active goalie as of this writing (Arturs Silovs) as Michael DiPietro is up with Vancouver’s Taxi Squad. Silovs is 2-5-0-1 with a 3.05 goals-against average and a .888 save percentage on the season.

Puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m. PT and can be seen on AHLTV.