Clifford and Reign ready to kick off 2013 with Indoor Winter Classic

Sure, hundreds of games may have already been cancelled due to the NHL lockout – including a big one that was scheduled today for Detroit, Michigan – but it hasn’t stopped the fun from happening in the ECHL.

Later this afternoon the Ontario Reign and Las Vegas Wranglers will square off in the first-ever Indoor Winter Classic. What’s that all about, you ask?

Well, the host Wranglers issued a press release announcing things like – “Advance weather forecasts for inside the arena call for intermittent snow for the Indoor Winter Classic, as well as unpredictable wind patterns caused by arena doors being left open.”  They’ll also wear black throwback jerseys for the game and feature an Indoor Winter Classic logo patch near the shoulder.

Meanwhile, the visiting Reign are expected to have LA Kings forward Kyle Clifford back in the line-up. He’s missed the last few weeks due to an upper body injury. However, he was removed from the reserve list on Monday and should play in the Classic.

Since signing on with the Kings’ ECHL affiliate just before Thanksgiving, Clifford has six points (three goals, three assists) in five games played.  Video of his first goal – scored in his second game with the Reign – can be found here.

MayorsManor will be in Vegas providing live updates throughout the game today on twitter, from the drop of the first puck at 2pm PST to the awarding of the 2012 Indoor Winter Classic Trophy (pictured below).

Indoor Winter Classic trophy ECHL MayorsManor

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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.

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