Manor Reign Recap: Ontario Stumbles in Final Game; Sets Up First Round vs. Bakersfield


They see me rollin'. They hatin'.
Staff member

If there was a game to forget for the Ontario Reign, count Sunday’s matinee in Colorado against the Eagles as a primary target.

Heading into the final regular season contest, coach Marco Sturm appointed days off for Ontario forwards Samuel Fagemo, Tyler Madden, and T.J. Tynan. So without a few of their mainstays, the Reign coaching staff used Game 72 as a chance to shuffle lines and experiment a bit.

Two such changes included Charles Hudon drawing back into the lineup after missing 11 of the past 13 games, along with defenseman Jack Millar — a collegiate graduate who signed a professional try-out agreement (PTO) in early April — making his professional debut.

Immediately after puck drop, Colorado went to work and scored only 1:38 into the game. Ontario responded minutes later to make it 1-1 when rookie Franky Pinelli (13) finished a feed from Kings prospect Alex Turcotte.

As for the remainder of P1, starting goalie Erik Portillo and the rest of his Reign squad had trouble containing a fairly consistent press from the hometown Eagles. They scored three consecutive goals in a span of 5:49, all while keeping Ontario off the board completely. By the time the horn blew after 20 minutes, the Reign were being outshot 13-7 and found themselves in an early 4-1 deficit.

When play resumed following intermission, Colorado stuck to their script, scoring a power play goal 36 seconds into the middle frame to take a 5-1 lead.

A glimmer of hope arose when Ontario answered with a pair of back-to-back goals of their own, coming off the sticks of Jacob Doty (7) and Martin Chromiak (15). However, that was the last of the offense from the visitors. Colorado added another goal in the third period and that was how it finished.

Despite getting more chances and shots on net in the back-half of this one, the Reign were defeated 6-3 as they can now look ahead to the postseason getting underway later this week.

Ontario Vs Bakersfield: The first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs is set, including a Reign-Condors three-game series with the following schedule:

Game 1 – at Ontario – Wednesday, April 24 at 7pm
Game 2 – at Bakersfield – Saturday, April 27 at 7pm
Game 3* – at Ontario – Sunday, April 28 at 5pm
*if necessary

Rookie Starter Erik Portillo: It’s been three starts for the big goaltender since Sturm tapped him as his preferred number one goaltender. On Sunday in Colorado, he recorded 29-of-35 saves with six goals against – tying his season (and career) high. This was likely not the game the freshman netminder was looking for, and turning the page quickly, with a clean slate come Wednesday, will be a tall task for the young backstop. In his past three starts, Portillo has a .859 save-percentage and 4.33 goals-against-average. A far cry from his season-long performance, which landed him tied for second (24) in wins among first-year goalies, as well as fourth for goals against average (.918).

Turcotte’s Strong Finish: Between several ups and downs throughout the season — including a few injuries and an NHL call-up — Turcotte finished his fourth AHL campaign on a high note. The 23-year-old ended the season on a four-game points streak (3G, 3A) and accrued a season total (and career best) of 29 points (10G, 19A) in 35 games with the Reign.


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Lead photo courtesy of Colorado Eagles

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