Three things to watch for in Ontario Reign at San Diego on Wednesday
After back-to-back shootout games over the weekend against Stockton, the Ontario Reign head to San Diego to take on the Gulls.
Tale of the tape:
ONT: 26.5% (1st)
SD: 20.3% (9th)
ONT: 75.5% (29th)
SD: 81.4% (12th)
ONT: 236 (1st)
SD: 180 (29th)
ONT: 198 (16th)
SD: 188 (11th)
ONT: T.J. Tynan – 13 goals, 74 assists, 87 points
SD: Lucas Elvenes – 10 goals, 28 assists, 38 points
Three things to watch for on Wednesday
1. Familiar foes
The two Southern California rivals don’t necessarily need any introduction, particularly when they’ve already met nine times this season. That said, Wednesday will make the first of three in a row between the Ontario Reign and San Diego Gulls.
On the season, the Reign is 6-3 against San Diego. The most recent meeting, however, saw the Gulls win 5-1 from Pechanga Arena. Since that game, the Gulls have dropped four of five.
This will also represent a potential playoff preview. Ontario currently sits in second place in the Pacific Division while the Gulls are in seventh place which would pit the two teams against each other in an opening-round best-of-three series.
2. Fagemo on fire
With so many regulars out of the lineup for the Ontario Reign, they’ve needed someone to step up and fill the void. Samuel Fagemo has done just that.
Over his last ten games, the 22-year-old winger has eight goals (half of those on the power-play) and 12 points. He also picked up a goal in the shootout in Sunday’s back and forth affair with Stockton.
Fagemo’s season is flying a little under the radar given the call-ups of many other top prospects and the performances from Tynan and Martin Frk. But Fagemo has been crucial to the Reign’s success. His 0.75 points per game is a big improvement on last season’s 0.56.
3. Reign penalty-kill woes continue
It’s been a storyline all season in Ontario, the penalty kill just has not been good enough. Currently ranked 29th in the AHL, it hasn’t been very good of late either. The Reign have allowed at least one power-play goal in six straight games, killing off just 21 of 27 (77.8%). Ironically, the last game they did not allow a power-play goal against was their March 26th loss to San Diego.
Conversely, the Gulls have been rolling on the power-play. San Diego has scored two power-play goals in three straight games and is 6-for their last-15. As has been the case this season, the Reign penalty kill will need to get itself sorted out heading into the playoffs.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm PT and can be seen on AHLTV.
(Main photo credit: Ontario Reign)