DES MOINES, IA – When we first took a look at the projected Reign roster for the season, there was some concern regarding offensive production. Ontario has never been a high scoring team, but at least two of their better goal scorers were projected to stay with the team. Over the first two games of the season, that lack has become glaringly apparent.
The Reign started the year with a 2-1 loss in San Antonio. Of more concern than the lack of production, was the lack of cohesion. They didn’t look like a team who had finished training camp and already played a few preseason games. It was by the will of Jack Campbell that the score was only 2-1.
Ontario went back to southern California and took a full week to pull together and gel as a unit.
Last night in Iowa, the results were less than impressive. While a lack-luster power play unit can be forgiven as it saw game time for the first time, the general malaise of five-on-five play cannot. At times, the Reign showed an interest in controlling the game, then the teamwork would fall apart and the Wild were back in the driver’s seat. Missed passes and sloppy play left two pucks in the back of the net while only putting mild pressure on goalie Niklas Svedberg. In the end, the Wild shut out the Reign 3-0.
Tonight, the Reign will take on the Chicago Wolves who are also looking for their first win in a battle of the Western Conference basement. The Reign will need T.J. Hensick to rediscover his scoring magic as well as Philippe Maillet and Matt Luff.