They see me rollin'. They hatin'.
- Jul 28, 2004
Not everything that stars well ends well. Tyler Madden and Jacob Moverare had Ontario up 2-0 less than seven minutes into Saturday night’s game against Coachella Valley at Toyota Arena. Things were later tied up 2-2 after 40 minutes, but a pair of Firebirds goals in the third period did in the Reign; as they lost by a final score of 4-2.
Now, it’s time to turn the page quickly.
While back-to-back weekend games are commonplace in the AHL, coach Marco Sturm’s team will be tested with Sunday’s game having a 3pm start time in Ontario.
We’re not expecting too many lineup changes for today’s contest against the visiting Bakersfield Condors — other than in goal, where Jacob Ingham is expected to get the start. In his four previous starts, Ingham has complied a 3-1 record. His only loss came in a 2-1 defeat at Abbotsford this past Wednesday. On the season, the 23-year-old netminder holds a .940 save percentage, along with a 1.99 goals against average.
For now, forward Sammy Fagemo and defenseman Brandt Clarke remain up with the Kings. Neither player is slated to be assigned back to the AHL in time for this game.
In three previous meetings this season, the Condors and Reign split a pair of games in Bakersfield, with each side winning one game. For the lone game in Ontario, it was the road team claiming a 6-4 victory on Dec. 8.
There was more to that game than just the score. During the second period that night, Kings prospect Alex Turcotte was elbowed in the head by Condors rookie Max Wanner. It was a dirty, unnecessary play. We’ll have to see how, if at all, that plays into the narrative later today. Edmonton originally drafted Wanner, a 6-foot-3 defenseman, in the seventh round of the 2021 NHL Draft. Last night, he scored his second goal of the season for Bakersfield.
Perhaps the biggest news coming into today’s action in Ontario is the fact that the game will be televised locally on KCAL 9. It’s the first of a two-game deal with the Reign. Think of it as a test to gauge interest. Depending how it goes, additional games could be added to the broadcast schedule, either for this season or next year. We should have more on this in the weeks to come.
Following today’s game, the Reign will have a few days off (with practice) before leaving town for a two-game set in Tucson next weekend.
REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. FIREBIRDS
Hudon – Tynan – Chromiak
Ward – Turcotte – Madden
Lee – Thomas – Hodgson
Pinelli – Helenius – Pavlychev
Moverare – Haiskanen
Krygier – Connauton
Nousiainen – Santini
Other roster options include: (F) Francis and (D) Inamoto, Wylie
Injured: Doty (day-to-day), Hicketts (undisclosed)
Puck drop is scheduled for 3pm Pacific Time and the game can be viewed on KCAL9 and AHL TV.