Reign: Scouting the Enemy

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Milwaukee Admirals were shutout 2-0 last night against the San Diego Gulls. Despite that looking so bad I have to imagine if the Admirals play on that sort of level more towards the finish line they’ll do a lot more right than wrong. They’d only want to clean up some penalties and get that ice cold power-play sorted. Otherwise, the difference of that game was Reto Berra stopping everything thrown at him. If the Admirals can challenge the Ontario Reign a keep a sixty-minute pace up like they did in San Diego? I think the Admirals can get back on track tonight.

The Reign enter this game not having played since Wednesday night when they beat the Cleveland Monsters on home ice 3-2 in overtime. They should be rested back up from there and looking to keep pace in a rather tight Pacific Division. They have been doing that, too. The Reign are 7-1-1-1 in their last 10 games.

Right now the Reign have a record of 30-20-4-2 (66 points, 0.589 points percentage) which has them in third place in the Pacific Division. The Tucson Roadrunners (0.634) are in the lead of that division right now followed by the Gulls (0.607). Chasing them are the Reign who are looking to keep out in front of the Texas Stars (0.578) and Stockton Heat (0.571).

Looking back to when these two sides first met at the end of January: it wasn’t pretty. The Admirals had a 1-0 lead after the first period after a goal from Emil Pettersson. The Admirals continued to lead, 2-1, after the second period thanks to a goal from Trevor Murphy. And then it all went badly wrong. The Reign piled up three goals in the third period including two in the opening 3:03 of the period. Frédérick Gaudreau would get a late goal but the Reign took a 4-3 victory in the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

There were two key figures in that game that stood out. Michael Mersch scored a pair of goals and added an assist while Philippe Maillet had a goal and an assist. Both are still with the Reign and Mersch is tied for the team lead in scoring with Matt Moulson. Mersch has 36 points (19 goals, 17 assists) in 53 games while Moulson has 36 points (11 goals, 25 assists) in 37 games. Maillet is second to only Mersch on the Reign in goals with 14 goals in 52 games.

It’s rather straight forward who will be in net for the Reign tonight. Cal Petersen has a record of 19-10-0-1 from 32 appearances this season with a 2.37 goals against average, 0.915 save percentage, and 3 shutouts. He made the start back in Milwaukee earning the win in net as he stopped 30/33 shots on the night against the Admirals.

What do you expect from the Milwaukee Admirals the night after being shutout? What corrections do you think need to be made to help the Admirals power-play at the moment? Would you consider rotating to Troy Grosenick in the back half of a two-in-two?

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