Featured Prospect - Gabriel Vilardi
Welcome to the goal column, Gabriel Vilardi!
It was a big week for the 20-year-old forward. Following his assist on the Reign's game-winning goal his last time out on home ice on November 29, Vilardi scored his first career professional goal on Wednesday in Stockton, as a part of a two-point night.
If that wasn't enough, Vilardi capped things off with another multi-point game on Saturday, in addition to a silky-smooth goal in the shootout, as the Reign came from behind and earned a 5-4 victory over San Jose.
The Kings first-round selection in 2017 has showcased his offensive skill set in his six games with the Reign thus far this season, as he's tallied five points (2-3-5), including the four (2-2-4) from three games this past week. Vilardi has become more and more comfortable in the Ontario lineup, playing back-to-back games last weekend for the first time this season.
Following Vilardi's first goal as a professional, his Head Coach had nothing but good things to say.
"Gabe cashed in on his first of many professional goals," Mike Stothers said. "Got himself in front of the net and declared that 'his' spot. Just kept whacking at a loose puck until it found its way behind the goalie. His assist was from winning a face off clean to Frk. It happened in two seconds flat. It was a thing o' beauty."
Defenseman Braden Doyle burst onto the USHL scene with a hat trick on Friday, his second, third and fourth goals of the season. Doyle's three-goal night made Dubuque Fighting Saints history with the first ever hat trick by a defenseman for the USHL franchise. As a result of his efforts on the weekend, which also included an assist on Saturday, Doyle was named as the USHL's Defenseman of the Week for Week 11 of the 2019-20 season.
The Kings' sixth-round selection from 2019 is currently on a three-game point streak (3-2-5) and, dating back to November 15, has points in seven of his last nine games, totaling ten points (3-7-10) over that span. On the season, Doyle is tied for fifth in the USHL in scoring by a defenseman with 14 points (4-10-14) from 20 games played.
Defenseman Kale Clague set a season-high, and tied an AHL career-high, with three points (1-2-3) in Ontario's 5-4 shootout win over San Jose on Saturday.
Clague scored his fifth goal of the season, which leads all Reign blueliners, in the first period and assisted on both the game-tying and go-ahead goals in the third period, as he was named the game's first star.
On the season, Clague is tied for the overall Reign lead in assists (8), ranks second in points (13), and leads Ontario defensemen in goals, assists and points.
Clague's five goals are also tied for third across the AHL amongst defensemen, and the second-year blueliner has six points (2-4-6) over his past six games played.
Kitchener Rangers goaltender Jacob Ingham has won four straight games since he returned from injury on November 28. Most recently, Ingham made an OHL career-high 51 saves, in addition to a perfect 3-of-3 performance in the shootout, in a 3-2 SOW over the Owen Sound Attack.
On the season, Ingham has posted a 10-3-3 record for Kitchener, and ranks inside the OHL's Top-10 in several goaltending categories. Ingham ranks fourth in the OHL with a .916 save percentage, ninth with a 3.05 goals against average and tied for tenth in victories, having played less games than all nine netminders above him in the "W" category.
Forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan continues his progression throughout his rookie season in the American Hockey League. The Reign centerman has tallied four points (1-3-4) over his last six games, including assists on back-to-back nights this past week, on Wednesday and Friday.
Overall this season, Anderson-Dolan has collected 11 points (4-7-11) from 23 games played, tied for third on the Reign in scoring. The Kings' second-round selection in 2017 leads all Ontario rookies in assists (7) and points (11), and his four goals trail just forward Rasmus Kupari (5 goals) for the team lead amongst first-year skaters.
2019 seventh-round selection and UMass-Lowell forward Andre Lee extended his scoring streak to four games, with points in a pair of games against Providence this past weekend. Lee had an assist in a 4-1 loss on Saturday, which ended a streak of three straight multi-point games, all Riverhawks wins, dating back to November 29.
Lee collected two points apiece in victories over RPI (0-2-2), Penn State (1-1-2) and Providence (0-2-2), and his seven points in that four-game span gives him 12 (4-8-12) from 17 games played this season. Lee ranks tied for third in scoring on his team this season, ranks third in assists and tied for fifth in goals, while he leads all skaters with a +7 rating.
Goaltender Cole Kehler was a nominee for the ECHL's goaltender of the week award, following his second shutout of the season on December 6 versus Tulsa.
Kehler, playing with the Fort Wayne Komets, has turned aside 73-of-75 shots over his last three starts, including a pair of shutouts (aforementioned on 12/6 and a 20-save shutout on 11/28 vs. Wheeling).
Kehler, who has won each of his last five starts with Fort Wayne, has posted a 7-2-0 record on the season, along with a 2.62 goals against average and a .911 save percentage. The 6-4 netminder is one of six goaltenders across the ECHL with multiple shutouts this season.