For SoCal hockey fans few things are better than a Kings-Ducks game. Both franchises – and their loyal followers – know bragging rights are on the line when they meet on the ice.
This weekend features a three-game series between the Kings and Ducks…well, sort of…
These games will be played between their ECHL affiliates, the Ontario Reign and Elmira Jackals.
(Extra bonus points to you by the way if you even know were Elmira is.)
In fact, this is the first ever meeting between the two ECHL teams. For the past few seasons the Bakersfield Condors were the Ducks ECHL affiliate. However, this summer they aligned themselves with the Florida based Jackals.
Tomorrow night’s contest is a very special one, as the Reign will honor the Kings by wearing purple and gold jerseys and giving away Luc Robitaille bobbleheads to the first 3,000 fans. Lucky Luc will be on hand as well to drop the first puck.
If you haven’t been out to a Reign game, you should definitely go. Parking is free, the arena is great, there isn’t a bad seat in the house and the games are usually pretty competitive. Oh yeah, it’s the minor leagues, so expect plenty of hard hits and a few fights.
Unfortunately, it looks like Jackals goalie Garrett Zemlak will miss the opening game tonight with a touch of the flu. He started the year with the Reign and you may recall some photos I posted of his helmet back at the Kings rookie camp last September (link). I highly doubt some of those images would be NHL approved.
Here are a few more serious notes on the game (courtesy of JP Hoornstra)…
* Reign captain David Walker played for the Jackals head coach, Malcolm Cameron, way back in their Long Beach Ice Dog days.
* Reign defenseman Jordan Hill, only recently sent down from Manchester, may miss the weekend series after injuring his leg in Ontario’s 4-2 home loss on Wednesday.
* It will be a bit of a reunion for Reign forward Chaz Johnson, who played the last two seasons with the Jackals.
Go to a game. Cheer on the Reign, the Kings ECHL affiliate.
Interview with Colten Teubert – the Kings first round draft pick talks about his time with the Reign
Interview with Jordan Nolan – another Kings prospect to play in Ontario, now with Manchester
2010 ECHL All-Star Game wrap-up – includes player quotes from contest in Ontario