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SCOUTING THE FIREBIRDS: 

REIGN PREVIEW – Ontario at Coachella Valley, 12/28

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: 

The Ontario Reign return from the AHL’s holiday break Wednesday night for their first-ever matchup with the league’s newest franchise, the Coachella Valley Firebirds at Acrisure Arena. Wednesday’s meeting is the first of eight contests between the two Southern California-based clubs that will all take place during Ontario’s final 47 games of the 2022-23 regular season.

Photo by Craige Campbell/ CoachellaValley.com

WHO: Ontario Reign (15-9-1) at Coachella Valley Firebirds (17-6-3)
WHAT: AHL REGULAR SEASON GAME #26
WHEN: Wednesday, December 28 @ 7:00 PM Pacific
WHERE: Acrisure Arena – Palm Desert, CA


SCOUTING THE FRIREBIRDS:

The AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, the Firebirds have been one of the strongest teams in the Pacific Division during their first season in the league while playing most of their games on the road prior to the opening of Acrisure Arena 10 days ago.

Veteran Andrew Poturalski leads the way with 29 points in the team’s first 26 games, scoring seven goals and 22 assists that includes 13 power play points and a team-leading 81 shots on goal. Jesper Froden is two points behind Poturalski but has a team-high 14 goals and an impressive plus-16 rating in 24 contests. Kole Lind has also had a strong start to the year offensively with 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points in 26 games. Defenders Brogan Rafferty and Ryker Evans are tied for the most points among the Firebirds’ blueliners, each with 17.

HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – TWITTER: @ShafReign & @OntarioReign AUDIO: Mixlr –
Photo by Craige Campbell/ CoachellaValley.com

In net, Joey Daccord is coming off a shutout performance in the team’s final game before the league’s holiday break and has a 2.67 goals-against average and a 10-4-1 record in 15 appearances this season

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: 

Ontario is looking to make up ground in the Pacific Division standings after failing to earn any points in their last two games before the break, a pair of losses on the road in Calgary. The Reign currently occupy sixth place, while Coachella Valley is just one point back of Colorado for first place in the table with 37 points. The Reign, who enter the matchup with the fourth-lowest goals per game in the league (2.56), will meet a top-5 offense in the Firebirds who score an average of 3.65 goals per night. Coachella Valley has also made it tough for opponents on the other side of the puck, allowing the third-lowest average shots on goal per game this season (28.0). Ontario will aim to hold down CV’s ninth-ranked power play (22.5%) with their fourth-ranked penalty kill, which has discarded 84.7% of their opponents’ opportunities

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