The Ontario Reign have yet to record a win at Citizens Business Bank Arena this season, starting 0-4-0-1 at home and 5-4 on the road.
Last Saturday, they played their Pacific Division rival, Las Vegas Wranglers, with a chance to secure their first home victory and take the first of several head-to-head matches this season. The same Las Vegas team that ended their playoff run last season.
The motivation was there, but Ontario just couldn’t seem to use it to their advantage and snap their skid at home, losing the battle 4-1.
“It just comes down to giving 100 percent, never having a break during the game,” said Shawn Collymore, who scored the only goal in Saturday’s 4-1 loss. “Guys are giving 100 percent, but sometimes things happen during the game where you get into a lull. We have to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
The Reign are tied for last place in the ECHL with 11 points. However, the team they are tied with, the Trenton Devils, have two less games played.
“We’re not happy where we are. The guys are not content. Nobody’s happy (merely) to be in California – if that was the issue, we’d make changes a lot quicker.” Taylor Said.
To make matters even worse, Trenton has the lowest average attendance in the league with 1,992. Ontario leads the league in average attendance with 6,960 and their fans are getting restless.
“We have to reward our fans. We have to get some wins.” Taylor said.
Taylor decided to switch things up at practice this week and scheduled an hour long 3-on-3 scrimmage in hopes to get his team rolling on home ice.
“We haven’t had a lot of fun in this arena,” he said. “We went back to shinny hockey and throwing our sticks in the middle, allowing the guys to have some fun and enjoy what they’re doing, to realize that this building is a great place to play.”
The Reign will also need to work on their 18th ranked power-play that went 1-for-9 over the weekend against Victoria and Las Vegas.
“We feel the issues are fixable,” Taylor said. “We need stronger commitment, harder play throughout the game.”
Ontario will have another chance for redemption this weekend as they face-off with the Wranglers in critical battles Friday and Saturday night before taking on the Utah Grizzlies Sunday.