The Ontario Reign allowed a pair of goals in the second and third periods while the offense went quiet on Saturday.
After a second straight blowout loss in Colorado, the Ontario Reign needs to clean up many aspects of their game before their first-round series against the San Diego Gulls.
1. David Hrenak
In making only his second AHL start, the 23-year-old Slovakian is the only reason that this one wasn’t a complete laugher. After relieving Matthew Villalta in Friday’s contest, David Hrenak found himself under assault all night in Saturday’s affair. Nevertheless, he made several big stops, including three breakaways, and thanks to him, the Reign were still in the game going into the 3rd period. In the end, he turned away 44 of the 49 shots he faced.
Villalta is sure to be the Game 1 starter against the San Diego Gulls in the first round of the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs, but it’s nice to know that after just two starts, Hrenak appears to be more than ready to step in if called upon.
2. Terrible Starts
For the second game in a row, Ontario gave up the opening goal in the first period in under a minute. Dylan Sikura needed just 24 seconds to put the Eagles in front 1-0. Even worse, the Reign allowed the same thing to happen again at the start of the 2nd period, allowing Colorado to retake the lead just 37 seconds into the middle frame. Starting periods like this is deflating, especially on the road. Needless to say, this won’t get it done in the playoffs.
3. Cleanup on aisle 5, stat!
If you were somebody who had never watched the Reign this season and tuned into this one, you were probably shocked to learn that they lead the AHL in goals and sport the best power play. Colorado was all over them from start to finish and the Reign were just flat from the drop of the puck. Ontario was sloppy at both ends of the ice and this is one of the main reasons that they were outshot by such a wide margin.
The Reign have one final game on April 30th in Henderson against the Silver Knights and will hopefully use the upcoming week to clean some things up. If not, their Calder Cup run may be over sooner rather than later.
Next Up: Ontario Reign vs Henderson Silver Knights, April 30th at The Dollar Loan Center, 7:00 pm PT.
(Main photo credit: Ontario Reign)