Who is the: Ontario Rain (7-1-0) at Colorado Eagles (3-5-0)
what or what: AHL REGULAR SEASON GAME #9
when: Saturday, November 5 @6:05pm Pacific
where: Budweiser Events Center – Loveland, Colorado
How to proceed: Video: AHLTV – My voice: Mixler – Twitter: Tweet embed & Tweet embed
Tonight’s match: The Ontario Ring faces the Colorado Eagles for the second time in three nights Saturday night, completing a series in Loveland this week. Ontario’s longest road trip to date began Thursday with a 2-0 Colorado shutdown, drawing little revenge for the club that ended their Calder Cup career last spring in the second round. That series saw the Eagles blast off a three-game sweep to advance to the Pacific Division Finals where they eventually fell to the Stockton Heat. Last season, The Reign finished a 2-3-1-0 record in six competitions against the Eagles.
What to watch: Ontario qualified on Saturday after winning six straight games, its longest winning streak since it played eight games a year ago from October 19 to November 7, 2021. Colorado has lost four of its last five games. Reign currently leads the AHL overall standings with 14 points and a win percentage of 0.875, while ranking first defensively with an average of just 1.75 goals allowed per game. Ontario also does well on the offensive end, averaging 3.75 goals per competition which ranks seventh in the AHL. The Eagles had success as they advanced early, taking a 3-1-0 lead after scoring the first goal.
The last time: Matt Vilalta blocked all 31 shots he’s faced to score in his second career AHL elimination in the 2-0 win over the Colorado Eagles by the Ontario Reigns Thursday night at the Budweiser Events Center. Ontario’s two goals were scored by Lias Andersson in the second half, each with help from former Eagles striker and current Reign captain TJ Tynan. Ontario has now won six straight games and continues to lead the Pacific Division with 14 points in the standings.
Second period success: The Reign has been dominant during the second stints this season, beating the opponents by 15-2 which is the largest positive goal difference of any team in a single term this season. The two goals that Ontario allowed are also the lowest totals conceded during the second period in the AHL. In just the last four matches, Reign has placed 10 goals in the middle of the field and only allowed one to score.
Exploring Eagles: The AHL’s Colorado Avalanche Eagles in the NHL have made several changes to last season’s successful team, finding several players in top-level roles with the Stanley Cup holders. Among the most notable returning players is Jean-Luc Fode, who has scored seven points in eight games this season with three goals and four assists, as well as former first-round pick Shane Powers, who has six points (2-4 = 6). Captain Jason Megna is also back for another year, along with defender Keaton Middleton. Through eight games, striker Charles Haddon, who spent last season with the Syracuse Crunch, led the team with eight points with four goals and four assists. Veteran defender Brad Hunt accelerated the team’s strikes with five points with two goals and three assists. In goal, Justus Annunen played five games while Jonas Johansson started three. Anonen was in goal in all three of the team’s victories, while Johansson scored the best goals for an average of 2.73.
Learn from lies: Reign forward Lias Andersson put in an outstanding performance on Thursday night, scoring both of Ontario’s goals in a 2-0 win. It was the Swede’s first multi-goal goal since he scored twice in back-to-back games for Ontario last season on March 2-4. Fourth largest number in the team. The sixth-year professional recently played in his 100th game in the AHL last week and scored 68 points from 30 goals and 38 assists during his time in the league.
Villa at the top of his game: Goalkeeper Matt Vilalta earned his first clean slate on Thursday since April 24, 2021, when he cleared 34 shots at Bakersfield to smash the Condors. Godfrey, Ont. His countryman has gotten off to a great start to the season, winning all three of his games while allowing only four goals to be earned for an average 1.33 and 0.958 save percentage. Villala also exited a distinguished season last year when he scored a 28-10-7 record in 46 games with a best 2.98 goals conceded and 0.903 save percentage.
Great TJ: After being held back by the scoring net in back-to-back games last week, Reign captain TJ Tynan bounced back with a pair of assists in his last two games and is now in a tie for third place in the AHL with 12 points this season. Most recently, Tynan sent assists into both of Lias Andersson’s goals during the 2-0 win in Colorado on Thursday. Orland Park, Illinois, leads all figure skaters in the league with 11 assists in eight competitions this season. Six of his assistants took part in a power game, which correlates with teammate Jordan Spence and four others as the most in the league.