Manor Ontario Reign Lineup vs. Bakersfield Condors; Player Suspended, Leaving Questions

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Overall, things are going pretty well for coach Marco Sturm and his Ontario Reign right now. They picked up points in 10 of the 11 games played in the past 30 days, securing a season-high eight wins along the way.

However, heading into a Saturday night contest at Bakersfield, several questions are bubbling to the surface. For starters, can they keep the Reign Train rolling against a Condors team that has already come out ahead in two of the four games played between the SoCal clubs this year? Perhaps working in Sturm’s favor, though, is the fact his team claimed victories over the Condors both times they served as the road team — which they will once again tonight.

For several years now, Reign-Condors games have been tightly contested affairs, and have often included some aggressive play. To say the two teams don’t really like each other would go all the way back to when coach Mike Stothers was behind the Reign bench. There’s been plenty of player turnover since then, yet some of the bad blood seems to still remain. And considering the teams still have four games remaining against each other on the 2023-24 schedule, they’ll become plenty familiar with each other once again over the final month of the regular season.

After just getting Akil Thomas back into the lineup last night for a home game at Toyota Arena, Sturm enters tonight’s contest without the services of forward Hayden Hodgson, who has been suspended by the AHL.

Ontario’s Hayden Hodgson has been suspended for three games as a consequence of an elbowing incident in last night’s game vs. Coachella Valley.Reign’s Hodgson suspended for three games

— AHL Communications (@AHLPR) March 16, 2024


In net, look for rookie Erik Portillo to get the start for Ontario. He’s 2-0 vs. the Condors this season (and has only allowed three goals total); while over his past 10 starts, Portillo has allowed a total of 10 goals and sits third in the league this season at a .924 save percentage.

On the blueline, Brandt Clarke is expected to make his fifth straight start for the Reign since being loaned to the club last week by the Kings. After failing to work his way onto the scoresheet last night, he’s now gone three straight games without a point for the first time all season. The 20-year-old defenseman has recorded three assists against Bakersfield in three previous games this season.

REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. FIREBIRDS


Chromiak – Tynan – Fagemo
Hudon – Thomas – Madden
Pavlychev – Pinelli – Ward
Young – Helenius – Doty

Hicketts – Clarke
Connauton – Santini
Krygier – Nousiainen

Portillo (starter)
Dell

Other roster options include: (F) N/A and (D) Inamoto, Rowe, Wylie

Suspended: Hodgson

Injured: Lee (expected back late March, continues to skate in a red no-contact jersey)

Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm Pacific Time and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.

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