Alex Turcotte Pots First Pro Goal as Ontario Reign Win Again

Ontario Reign (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ontario Reign (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Alex Turcotte ended his scoring drought on Saturday, scoring his first pro goal en route to the Ontario Reign’s 4-2 victory against the Henderson Silver Knights.

After a dismal 1-10-2 start to the season, the Ontario Reign find themselves on a bit of a roll. After their victory on Saturday, the Reign now have won in back-to-back contests — first against the Tucson Roadrunners and, most recently, the division- and league-leading Henderson Silver Knights.

En route to their latter victory, though, prospect Alex Turcotte scored the first goal of his professional career. Whether this is a sign of things to come may be too early to tell but Turcotte, and his coach, were definitely feeling confident on Saturday night.

Following the Reign’s victory on Saturday, both Turcotte and head coach John Wroblewski spoke with the media about the goal and the win.

It’s nice to get it out of the way,” Turcotte admitted of his first goal. “Obviously, it felt like it was taking forever to get it.

“I think [Rasmus Kupari] just got the puck up off the half-wall, rolled high, and used his speed and skill. I think I just got lost on the outside, cut to the middle and they didn’t see me. Kupes made a great pass to me and was lucky enough to pick a corner and put it in.”

As thrilled as he is to have his first goal, the Kings’ fifth-overall pick from 2019 admits that his drought had been bothersome.

“I mean, part of my job is to produce and when you’re not on the scoresheet it’s hard, for sure,” Turcotte said. “But, I think I’ve been playing the right way and just trying to work hard every day and stick with it. I’m thinking positively and I think I got rewarded today and hopefully, I can keep ‘er going.”

As for Coach Wroblewski, while he is happy for his centerman to get that proverbial monkey off his back, knows that Turcotte just needs to keep working his hardest if he wants his success to continue.

“I think that with Alex, knowing him since he was 15 and getting to coach him for a couple of years, I know that he burns to win,” Wroblewski began. “And it’s with everything, whether it’s a face-off or a loose puck, trying to be the best in the gym, wants to shoot more pucks after practice and then the next guy and, and of course he wants to, he wants to see numbers in his stat line. That’s what any elite player wants: they want to ultimately do it the right way but they want to see those goals and those assists pile up.”

Coach Wroblewski knows first-hand just how difficult it has been for Turcotte and his lack of production. Early in the season, the absence due to the World Juniors played a part in the 20-year-old’s struggles. Now, it’s a matter of working on his timing and focusing on the heavy lifting, so to speak. Turcotte’s performance on Saturday, which also included an assist, was certainly a good start.

“He’s had a tough go, he’s had a tough go,” Wroblewski added. “But, I think the one thing that Alex can always bank on here, he comes into training camp with the golden goal, you know, in his pocket for the World Juniors. He’s got to keep banking on that. That confidence, what a rare thing that is and in a résumé piece to have, and then you miss all the timing. Like, it’s great that you have the World Juniors but then you miss a few weeks and your timing goes off. You’re not in tune with the way that we’re trying to play with the details and practices. Those are not small issues. Those are massive things for a group that we have with the youth that we have up front. We really can’t have any errors. Those guys need to get the heavy lifting and they got their details down, so it’s not surprising that Turcs wasn’t rewarded on the scoresheet, but we will say this: that his analytics and the way that he drives the play are off the charts. So, we can always bank on that and true to form, the result will come at the right time.”

It may only be a couple of wins for the team and it may only be one goal for the individual, but the Ontario Reign and Alex Turcotte nonetheless, at last, have something promising to build on.

Turcotte’s goal on Saturday, which came at 10:41 of the first period, gave the Reign a 2-0 lead against the AHL-leading Silver Knights. That quick start was paramount as, while Henderson attempted a comeback, the Reign showcased a full, solid effort en route to a 4-2 victory.

As for Alex Turcotte, we will see how he fares now that the distraction of getting that first goal has fallen by the wayside.

The Reign will hope to continue their winning ways this week when they begin a two-game stand in Tucson to face the Roadrunners on Tuesday and Wednesday.