Battle Of Pacific Powerhouses In Bakersfield

by Sebastian Abdon Ibarra

The Ontario Jr Reign continue their roadtrip with a quick one game stop in Bakersfield tomorrow where they will take on the Roughnecks for just the second time this season. The Jr Reign will be looking to avenge their Oct. 6 loss to this same Bakersfield team, where the Roughnecks narrowly escaped with a 2-1 win. 

Photo by MIke Zitek

After starting their season with nine wins in their first 10 games, the Roughnecks have been on a bit of a skid as of late with a (0-3-1-1) record in their last five games. Defense has been the main culprit of their struggles as of late, they have allowed 33 goals in these past five games. However, with a +24 goal differential on the season they are still not a team to be taken lightly. In fact, they only allowed 18 goals and scored 54 through their first 10 games before the five game losing streak. 

The Jr Reign come into Friday’s game playing their best hockey of the season after a complete three game dismantling of the Lake Tahoe Lakers on the road, it was a series full of single series records set and matched. 

The Jr Reign hold a sizable advantage on the power play and a slim advantage on penalty killing in this series. The good news for Ontario is that they have shown the ability to score while at even strength or on the power play. They scored seven goals on the power play and 14 at even strength against Lake Tahoe. 

It should be a great matchup between two good teams and a measuring stick opportunity for the OJR to see just how far they have come this season.

The Jr Reign won’t stay in Bakersfield for long as they travel to Lakewood Ice the next day to take on the Long Beach Shredders. Ontario is a perfect 4-0 against the Shredders this season. They have scored 30 goals and allowed only five against Long Beach this season. 

Nicholas Fiolleau is a name to keep an eye on in this one, his 25 points are good for third on the Jr Reign and he is a dual threat on the attack with the ability to score or pass with 12 goals and 13 assists. Not to mention his contributions to one of the best defenses in the Pacific as of late.

If there is a member of the OJR that particularly enjoys seeing the Shredders on the calendar, it is Kaedin Larocque-Wolfe. The Ontario forward has 11 points against Long Beach this season, including two separate five point games including hat tricks in both of those contests. 

Mark your calendars for the Jr Reign’s return to Ontario Center Ice Arena Friday Nov. 24 at 3:55 p.m. when they welcome the Fresno Monsters. Catch all the high flying, hard hitting hockey action and purchase your tickets today! 

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