Final Regular Season Records:
Ontario Reign: 44-19-4-1 (93pts/0.684% —Western Conference Regular Season Champions)
San Diego Gulls: 39-23-4-2 (84pts/0.618%)
Game Schedule (Home Team in BOLD CAPS and All Times Local):
Game 1 – Thu., May 5 – San Diego at ONTARIO, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., May 7 – Ontario at SAN DIEGO, 7:05
Game 3 – Sun., May 8 – San Diego at ONTARIO, 7:00
Game 4 – Fri., May 13 – Ontario at SAN DIEGO, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., May 14 – San Diego at ONTARIO, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 16 – Ontario at SAN DIEGO, 7:05
*Game 7 – Wed., May 18 – San Diego at ONTARIO, 7:00
*= If Necessary
Season Series Recap: The Gulls won the 12 game regular season series 4-7-0-1. The two teams split the last two games of the season with the Reign winning the first one 4-2 and losing the second 3-2. The Gulls were resting their starters and missing a few players to the Ducks in those games. Beyond that, one has to go back to January to find a Reign victory over the Gulls. The Gulls have consistently dominated the Reign both at home and away. They have also recently received Shea Theodore and Chris Wagner back from the Ducks, both with NHL playoff experience.
Round 1 Recap: The Reign dominated the Barracuda from start to finish, outshooting them 150-80. The entire squad seemed to be firing on all cylinders and focused. The Gulls series mirrored the Reign’s series, but the first two games were much closer than the score reflected. The difference in those games was the goaltending. The last two games were all San Diego, however, as they outscored the Stars 12-3.
How Ontario Wins: The Reign need to have all four lines contributing to the offense. The Gulls will find a way to shut down a couple of the lines and the other two will need to compensate. The entire squad will need to be focused on every game, no slow starts can happen as the Gulls will not let them back into a game. Peter Budaj will need to be on top of his game every night.
How San Diego Wins: The Gulls will want to get under the Reign’s skin. The teams do not like each other, but the Reign has a habit of taking too many penalties. San Diego does it on occasion, but not to the extent that Ontario does. San Diego has the ability to beat the Reign at their own possession game. If Anton Khodobin can stay as hot as he has been, they’ll be a complete team and a monster to beat.