Series Preview - Reign vs. Monsters

May 17, 2016

Western Conference Finals Schedule

Game 1 – Sat., May 21 – Lake Erie at Ontario, 8:00 p.m. PT Buy Tickets Value Packs
Game 2 – Sun., May 22 – Lake Erie at Ontario, 7:00 p.m. PT Buy Tickets Value Packs
Game 3 – Tue., May 24 – Ontario at Lake Erie, 4:00 p.m. PT
Game 4 – Thu., May 26 – Ontario at Lake Erie, 4:00 p.m. PT
*Game 5 – Sat., May 28 – Ontario at Lake Erie, 9:00 a.m. PT
*Game 6 – Tue., May 31 – Lake Erie at Ontario, 7:00 p.m. PT
*Game 7 – Wed., June 1 – Lake Erie at Ontario, 7:00 p.m. PT

*if necessary
In the regular season, the Reign led the Western Conference with a .684 winning percentage and finished with an overall record of 44-19-4-1. The Monsters placed third in the Conference and second in the Central Division with a winning percentage of .638 and an overall record of 43-22-6-5.

Reign and Monsters Meet for the First Time

monsters-griffin160507-36.JPGThe Ontario Reign meet the Lake Erie Monsters for the first time team history as the two sides collide in the Western Conference Finals. The Reign enter the Conference Finals with a 7-2 record after taking down the San Jose Barracuda in the best-of-five first round, 3-1, and the San Diego Gulls, 4-1, in the Pacific Division Finals.
monsters-griffin160505-19.JPGThe Monsters also enter the Conference Finals with a 7-2 record after sweeping the Rockford IceHogs, 3-0 in the opening round and wiping out the Grand Rapids Griffins in six games in the Central Division Finals.
The Reign went 6-2-0-0 against Central Division opponents in the regular season, taking on the Charlotte Checkers (2-2-0-0) and Manitoba Moose (4-0-0-0). Lake Erie did not face a California team this season, but went 4-2-1-1 against Pacific Division foes Texas and San Antonio.


Offensive Firepower

1516DowdNicvsSD.jpgForward Nic Dowd leads the Reign’s postseason push with three goals and five assists for eight points while forward Adrian Kempe has lit the goal lamp a team-leading four times. Dowd started the postseason with a five-game point streak (two goals, three assists) and contributed a goal and two assists in Game 4 at San Diego to spark a 4-3 comeback overtime win. Forward Justin Auger leads the AHL postseason with three-game winning goals including both series-winning markers (Game 4 vs. San Jose, Game 5 vs. San Diego).
monsters-griffin160507-20.JPGWith the series-winning tally in overtime in Game 6 at Grand Rapids and an assist, rookie defenseman Zach Werenski took over the Monsters’ postseason scoring lead with four goals and six assists for 10 points. Werenski enters the series vs. Ontario on a five-game point streak (two goals, five assists). Forward Josh Anderson leads the Monsters with five goals in the playoffs including a hat trick and four-point performance in Game 2 against the IceHogs in the opening round.



Stingy Reign Defense vs. High-Flying Monsters

The Reign lead the AHL postseason with a 1.89 goals-against average while the Monsters jump in with the second-best offense, averaging 3.67 goals per game. Both teams take offensive chances, as the Reign sit second with a 35.11 shots-per-game average and the Monsters are in third at 32.56.V.Rappleyea-SD Gulls -20160513-B80T5994.jpg
Through nine games, the Reign have limited their opponents to a league-leading 21.67 shots-against-per-game while Lake Erie stands ninth at 30.44.

Special Teams Battle

The Monsters lead the Calder Cup Playoffs on the power play at 28.6 percent (10 goals on 35 chances) and are tied for the league lead (Toronto) with 10 power-play goals. Forward Alex Broadhurst leads the team with five power-play points (two goals, three assists) and is second on the team in overall points (two goals, seven assists).
Ontario’s penalty kill remains on top of the playoff standings at 93.1 percent, allowing only two power play goals (Game 3 & 4 vs. San Diego) on 29 chances.

Goaltending Duel

The Reign’s Peter Budaj, who dominated the AHL’s regular-season, is tied for the postseason lead with seven wins and sits second with a 1.73 goals against average. The veteran netminder is third with 555 minutes played and has appeared in every game/decision for the Reign in the postseason.
korpisalo9760_26833492981_o.jpgIn Lake Erie, the Monsters are led my rookie goalie Joonas Korpisalo, who appeared in only 18 regular-season contests compared to then-starter Anton Forsberg (41 appearances). Korpisalo is 17th in the AHL playoffs with a 2.96 goals-against average and led the Monsters on a six-game winning streak to start the playoffs. However, in his last three games, he suffered two losses (10 goals against over two losses) and has been pulled for Forsberg twice (Game 5 and Game 6 vs. Grand Rapids).


Postseason Numbers

Ontario Reign
Record: 7-2
Home: 4-1
Away: 3-1
Last 10 Games: 7-2
Streak: 2-0
Goals: Adrian Kempe (4)
Assists: Nic Dowd (5)
Points: Nic Dowd (8)
Penalty Minutes: Kris Newbury (17)
Power-Play Goals: Nic Dowd, Vincent LoVerde, Kris Newbury (1)
Power-Play Assists: Six Players tied (1)
Power-Play Points: Nic Dowd, Vincent LoVerde (2)
Shorthanded Goals: Jeff Schultz (1)
Shorthanded Assists: N/A
Shorthanded Points: N/A
Game-Winning Goals: Justin Auger (3)
Wins: Peter Budaj (7)                         
GAA: Peter Budaj (1.73)                   
SPCT: Peter Budaj (.918)
Lake Erie Monsters
Record: 7-2
Home: 3-1
Away: 4-1
Last 10 Games: 7-2
Streak: 1-0
Goals: Josh Anderson (5)
Assists: Alex Broadhurst (7)
Points: Zach Werenski (10)
Penalty Minutes: Kerby Rychel (26)
Power-Play Goals: Alex Broadhurst, Oliver Bjorkstrand (2)
Power-Play Assists: Alex Broadhurst, Daniel Zaar (3)
Power-Play Points: Alex Broadhurst (5)
Shorthanded Goals: N/A
Shorthanded Assists: N/A
Shorthanded Points: N/A
Game-Winning Goals: Zach Werenski, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Daniel Zaar (2)
Wins: Joonas Korpisalo (6)                         
GAA: Joonas Korpisalo (2.96)                   
SPCT: Joonas Korpisalo (.898)

Regular-Season Numbers

Ontario Reign
Record: 44-19-4-1, 93 points, .684 winning percentage (1st Place, Pacific Division)
Home: 22-8-3-1
Away: 22-11-1-0
Last 10 Games: 6-4-0-0
Streak: 0-1-0-0
Goals: Michael Mersch (24)
Assists: Sean Backman, Nic Dowd (34)
Points: Sean Backman (55)
Penalty Minutes: Kurtis MacDermid (121)
Power-Play Goals: Sean Backman (8)
Power-Play Assists: Sean, Backman, Nic Dowd (11)
Power-Play Points: Sean Backman (19)
Shorthanded Goals: Andrew Crescenzi, Justin Auger (2)
Shorthanded Assists: Six players with one assist
Shorthanded Points: Andrew Crescenzi (3)
Game-Winning Goals: Sean Backman (8)
Wins: Peter Budaj (42)                         
GAA: Peter Budaj (1.75)                   
SPCT: Peter Budaj (.932)
Lake Erie Monsters
Record: 43-22-6-5, 97 points, .638 winning percentage (2nd Place, Central Division)
Home: 25-8-1-4
Away: 18-14-5-1
Last 10 Games: 8-1-1-0
Streak: 3-0-0-0
Goals: Daniel Zaar (21)
Assists: T.J. Tynan (34)
Points: T.J. Tynan (46)
Penalty Minutes: Oleg Yevenko (152)
Power-Play Goals: Sonny Milano (8)
Power-Play Assists: T.J. Tynan (13)
Power-Play Points: Alex Broadhurst (19)
Shorthanded Goals: Trent Vogelhuber, Manny Malhotra (3)
Shorthanded Assists: Michael Chaput, Josh Anderson (3)
Shorthanded Points: Josh Anderson (5)
Game-Winning Goals: Michael Chaput (7)
Wins: Anton Forsberg (23)                         
GAA: Joonas Korpisalo (2.36)                   
SPCT: Anton Forsberg (.914)

Team History

The Ontario Reign finished their first AHL season in the Inland Empire after the LA Kings’ top AHL affiliate moved from Manchester, New Hampshire last summer. With the Reign’s appearance in the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, the Kings’ top affiliate has now reached the postseason the last seven straight seasons and 13 times in the last 14 years.
monsters-griffin160507-17.JPGThe Monsters completed their ninth season of AHL hockey in Cleveland, Ohio and their first as the top affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL). Over the previous eight seasons, the organization served as the primary affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche (now affiliated with the San Antonio Rampage). The 2016 Calder Cup playoffs marks only the second time in nine seasons that the Monsters have made the postseason and the first time since the 2010-11 campaign.
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