Sabers Set to Clash with rivals Jr Reign in Weekend Duel

by James Karr

The San Diego Sabers are heading to Ontario for a rivalry showdown against the Jr Reign in a doubleheader. The first faceoff takes place on Saturday, Jan. 20, at Ontario Center Ice Arena, with the puck dropping at 8:25 PM. The excitement continues on Sunday, Jan. 21, as the Ontario Jr Reign travels to Icetown Carlsbad for a 1:00 PM puck drop.

Photo by Mike Zitek

Heading into Saturday's game, the San Diego Sabers reflect on a contrasting week. The prior weekend in Fresno proved challenging with three consecutive losses to the leading Fresno Monsters, coupled with several injuries. Despite the setbacks, their core lineup stayed resilient. However, the narrative took a turn on Friday, Jan. 19th, when the Sabers faced the Long Beach Shredders, securing a resounding 21-2 victory. The game showcased the team's depth with goals coming from various players, including three separate hat tricks. As they gear up for Saturday night's matchup in Ontario, the lingering question is which version of the Sabers will fans witness on the ice.

Currently, Mario Paganini and Tristan Frizado are the top point-scorers for the Sabers, particularly showcasing their dominance in Long Beach last night. Paganini contributed significantly with 5 goals and 6 assists, while Frizado delivered an impressive performance with 4 goals and 8 assists, totaling 12 points. Additionally, defenseman Jacob Therrien, who had been awaiting his scoring moment, made a noteworthy comeback by securing a hat trick and 5 assists.

On the other side of the ice, the Ontario Jr Reign is riding high after a successful weekend, sweeping the Las Vegas Thunderbirds and keeping pace just two points away from the top spot in the Pacific Division. 

This weekend, all eyes will be on Jett Koch, identified as the pivotal player to watch by Ontario Jr Reign reporter Sebastian Abdon Ibarra. Ibarra highlights Koch as a standout performer, noting his remarkable seven points in the previous series against the Thunderbirds – the highest among all Jr Reign players last weekend.

In earlier matchups this season between the Sabers and Reign, the Jr Reign secured victories in both instances. They triumphed on Nov 4, 2023, with a commanding score of 7-3, and on Nov 3, 2023, with a final score of 3-2. 

Catch every thrilling moment by streaming all Sabers games live on FloHockey TV. For those in the Northern San Diego area, immerse yourself in the excitement by attending a game at Icetown Carlsbad. Secure your tickets through the link provided below.