Ontario Reign: Three things to watch for vs San Jose Monday
The Ontario Reign will play their final home game in January before heading out for a six-game road trip to start off February.
Tale of the Tape
ONT: 27.5% (1st)
SJ: 18.5% (18th)
ONT: 75.2% (29th)
SJ: 72.0% (31st)
ONT: 135 (2nd)
SJ: 106 (16th)
ONT: 101 (9th)
SJ: 142 (31st)
ONT: TJ Tynan– 8 goals, 36 assists, 44 points
SJ: Scott Reedy– 18 goals, 9 assists, 27 points
Three things to watch tonight:
1. Good start
One of the biggest reasons for the Ontario Reign’s success this season has been their ability to get off to great starts. After getting off to a slow start against Stockton on Saturday, it is important for the Reign to get back to a quick start tonight against a struggling Barracuda team.
The Reign are 13-2-2-2 at home while the Barracuda are 7-10-0-0 on the road. With the Reign scoring the most goals in the league and the Barracuda surrendering the most goals in the league, it’ll be critical for the Reign to put the Barracuda behind the eight ball very early. If history repeats itself from the previous three games these two teams played each other, we could be in for a high-scoring affair again.
2. Jordan Spence
Jordan Spence has been very impressive of late. The fourth-round pick in 2019 by the LA Kings just turned pro, and the 20-year-old is in his first year with the Ontario Reign and hasn’t disappointed with his play. On opening night, Spence was on the third defense pair because Kale Clague and Sean Durzi were on the first and second defense pair.
With Clague in Montreal and Durzi graduating to the big club, Spence has been moved up to the top defense pair with Cameron Gaunce and has seen time on the top power unit as well. Spence is currently on an 11-game point streak where he has recorded two goals and 12 assists for 14 points in that span.
Spence has been very noticeable since the turn of the calendar year on the power play with his passing and showing that great shot of his. Spence currently is 3rd in scoring on the team. Let’s see if Spence can keep that point streak alive tonight.
3. Improved penalty kill
Special teams have been a complete 180 for the Ontario Reign this season. The powerplay is one of the best in the league, but the penalty kill hasn’t been as successful as the powerplay. The penalty kill for the Reign is the 3rd worst in the league at 75.2%.
However, since their matchup against the Abbotsford Canucks on January 17th, the Reign have killed off 23 of their last 26 penalties. That is a success rate of 88.5%. It’ll be essential for the Reign to continue that success on the penalty kill tonight because Barracuda’s forward Scott Reedy leads the league with 10 powerplay goals.
If the Reign look to keep the penalty kill improving, keeping him off the scoresheet will be critical.
The puck drops at 7:00 pm PT at Toyota Arena and can be seen on AHLTV.