Photo Gallery: Kyle Clifford’s home debut for Ontario Reign

Following a 6-2 win on home ice over the Orlando Solar Bears, the Ontario Reign have now gone 9-1 in their last 10 games. While much of the focus recently has been on the addition of Kings forward Kyle Clifford, the real star of the night was dynamic left wing Colton Yellow Horn. He had a hat trick, which pushed him back into a tie for the team lead in goals (12).

Here are a few post-game quotes…

– Yellow Horn on his strong play through the first 18 games – “The coaches have shown a lot of confidence in me and put me out there in key opportunities. I’m just glad I can put the puck in the back of the net right now. It’s working, so hopefully we can keep moving forward with that.”

– Yellow Horn on his mini drought lately, after seemingly scoring at will earlier in the season – “I had a couple games there was I couldn’t score. But, I’ve been close. I hit a couple posts. So, it was about sticking with it and working on a few things in practice. It paid off tonight.”

– Yellow Horn on having Devin Setoguchi around the last few weeks – “He’s helped us a lot, talking about how to get to the next level. Just little things, things that help put the puck in the net, making plays and passes – the small things that a lot of fans don’t see, but we work on. Those things are big for us too.”

– Coach Jason Christie on Clifford – “His personality alone fits in well with our group, you know what I mean? He’s a hard-working guy, a blue-collar type of guy…He’s still got jump in him, and we’re excited that he can come out. Just work alone — his work ethic, it’s been phenomenal.”

– Clifford on Matt Clune, who jumped in immediately when an Orlando player tired mixing it up with him – “It just shows the character in the room and the good guys and how welcoming they are. We all stand up for each other. It’s been like that the last three games. Anytime there’s been a bad hit or something like that, guys have stepped in and stood up for each other.”

– Clifford on his goal vs. the Solar Bears – “I was just going to the net hard.  I don’t know if I got a stick on it or not. We’ll let the league decide. Huxy (Chris Huxley) made a good play there. C.J. (Stretch) won the draw. So, just simple, hard hockey.”

– Clifford on wearing a visor, per ECHL rules – “It takes a little getting used to.  I don’t like wiping it all the time to keep it clean.  I won’t be putting one on when I’m back with the Kings, that’s for sure.”

– Clifford on what some of the guys have been asking him – “It’s been more about stories and just around the league – coaches, the Stanley Cup – those kinds of things. They want to know what (Darryl) Sutter’s like.”

– And what is Sutter like? – “Awesome!”

Ontario will host their old nemesis, the Stockton Thunder, tonight. Then, tomorrow they have another home game and that one should certainly have an NHL feel to it. First off, the Stanley Cup will be in the building for fans to take pictures with. On the ice, the Reign could feature their three NHLers – Clifford, Setoguchhi and veteran defenseman Paul Mara. Over on the other side, the Alaska Aces have added four players during the lockout – Joey Crabb (Washington Capitals), Brandon Dubinsky (Columbus Blue Jackets), Scott Gomez (Montreal Canadiens) and Nate Thompson (Tampa Bay Lightning).

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