When it rains it pours – the Ontario Reign play five games in the next upcoming eight days, next playing the Texas Stars today, January 11 at 7 p.m. at the Citizens Bank Arena. When it rains it pours – even with only one game last week, the team found itself in an actual storm downpour during the AHL Outdoor Classic, in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Bakersfield Condors.
The 17-7-5-0 Reign start the week in first place in the Pacific Division, percentage points ahead of the San Jose Barracuda.
In the one wet game last week at Bakersfield College Memorial Stadium, the Reign broke a season-high six-game winning streak, as they gave up two third period goals, allowing the Condors to tie the match. An overtime breakaway goal by Griffin Reinhart at :46 ended it.
Reign goals came from Justin Auger (:34 of the second period) and Brett Sutter (18:43 of the first), the latter playing in his 700th professional game. Goalie Jack Campbell made 30 saves on 33 shots.
The real story saw the two teams having to play in such a storm, especially during the second period.
Through the Ontario Reign Insider Lindsay Czarnecki, coach Mike Stothers said, “It was coming down pretty good, but once you get started you want to finish it. Actually the players were great about it. They wanted to keep playing.”
Jonny Brodzinski said, “It was insane. I think my skates were about 40 pounds. Any time you stopped, any time you turned, ice would get chipped up in the bottom of your skate and it was just like walking around. It was soggy. It was gross. The shoulder pads, the jersey was heavy. Especially if guys fell on the ice and got their gloves wet, it was an absolute nightmare. But it was fun to dig through that period.”
In other Reign (non-storm) news, team captain and defenseman Vincent LoVerde and forward Brodzinski have been selected as Pacific Division All-Stars for the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, January 30. Stothers coaches the Pacific Division.
But upcoming next, a whole bunch of games in short order.
Said Stothers,
“You try not to dwell on it. The old clichι is one game at a time and I think that’s the only way we can look at it in this particular case. There is a lot of hockey to be played. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing either to play and just play. The guys prefer to play. Having what we talked about last week, we had some good practices so we feel comfortable and confident that we’ll be able to weather the storm. Hey, let’s just play, let’s get at it.”


Ontario Reign vs. Texas Stars
Wednesday, Jan. 11, 7 p.m. PT
Citizens Business Bank Arena
Ontario Reign at San Jose Barracuda
Friday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m. PT
SAP Center
Ontario Reign vs. Bakersfield Condors
Saturday, Jan. 14, 6 p.m. PT
Citizens Business Bank Arena
Star Wars Night – whatever that is…
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