After a 2-1 overtime victory against the San Jose Barracuda, the Ontario Reign have won their first two games without Michael Mersch in the lineup after his call up to the Los Angeles Kings. Some of Mersch’s teammates in Ontario spoke about his call up to the NHL.
Kevin Gravel on Mersch getting a chance to play his first NHL game:
“Its good. He’s one of my best friends too, I’m his roommate. I watched and I thought he played well. I talked to him after the game just to see how he felt see how everything was going. I thought he made a lot of nice plays and he was out there with two minutes left while they were up a goal so thats good sign.”
Gravel on how it feels seeing another D-I college player in his organization succeeding:
“He works hard. He stuck to the process of development and stayed all four years in college like myself. He had a rookie year where he continually got better, had a good camp a good start to the year and now he’s up top making it worth it.”
Nic Dowd on another college hockey player having success with the Kings:
“Its good. Seeing a teammate and a line mate have success and make his dream come true thats awesome. It gives hope to the rest of us too that one day we can hopefully have that same success of being called up and making our dreams come true. I was really happy for Mike and hopefully we never see him again.”
On if he saw Mersch’s first game:
“Yeah i saw some of it. I think it was at 4:00pm, I was taking my dog for a walk at the park or whatever. I kept up with him by updating my twitter feed and i was half expecting to see ‘Mersch scored’ pop up. Im sure he’ll get his first soon.”
Head Coach Mike Stothers has been one of Mersch’s biggest supporters from the jump. He has even said that he thinks the world of Mersch. Of course, Stothers was more than happy to share with us that he watched Mersch’s first game from beginning to end and that he keyed in on him every time he touched the ice.
“I thought he was great. I thought he did a great job. I didn’t get to see as much yesterday because something got in the way, oh we were playing. The most telling thing for me is obviously there is some confidence that Darryl has in him in the way he as used and the situations, late in the game he’s on the ice. I think he’s impressed them. I don’t know if he’s impressed them as much as he’s impressed us here. Its a matter of time before they see what big Mike can do and I’m happy for him. I hope he just keeps playing.”