Nearly 100 years ago, professional hockey debuted in California. That first game came on Dec. 9, 1926 when the California Hockey League opened its debut season, featuring the Richfield Oilers beating the Globe Ice Cream team 3-1 at the Glacier Ice Palace. We’re still searching for an official game recap from that night, yet we’re fairly confident the officiating was better than what was on display last night in Ontario.
Friday night at Toyota Arena saw one of the worst performances by a group of referees and linesman in the building’s history, spanning hundreds of both ECHL and AHL games that have taken place there since first opening in Oct. 2008.
What made the entire situation downright bizarre was there were actually a bevy of minor penalties — 17 of them, to be exact. Yet, it was the penalties they missed that helped tell the tale.
Here's the hit in Turcotte from last night.
— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) December 9, 2023
Reign forward Alex Turcotte was elbowed in the head by Condors rookie Max Wanner during the second period. Not only was it a dirty, unnecessary play, it also resulted in Turcotte missing the remainder of the game. After checking with multiple sources over the past 18 hours, there still doesn’t seem to be much of an update available on the 22-year-old NHL prospect. Turcotte will be held out of tonight’s game while continuing to be monitored and evaluated. We’re expecting more news in the days ahead.
Akil Thomas, who scored earlier in the game, was also victim to an elbow to the head later in the game. Again, it went unpunished by the referees. He was able to continue playing however.
Ontario coach Marco Sturm was not shy about his feelings after the game.
“The referees, I thought they missed a few calls, especially two of them against the head,” said Sturm. “Their performance today was pretty bad. I thought they pretty much took over the game. And that’s not hockey, right? You don’t want to see that. You want to see the guys play.”
After dropping the game 6-4 to Bakersfield, the two teams will now travel up to Kern County for a rematch on Saturday night.
Kings prospect Sammy Helenius had been the only healthy scratch at forward last night. He’s expected to draw back in tonight.
Without a morning skate to help sort things out, some of what’s below is a guestimate based on Turcotte’s absence.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. BAKERSFIELD CONDORS
Madden – Tynan – Fagemo
Ward – Thomas – Chromiak
Hudon – Pinelli – Hodgson
Lee – Helenius – Doty
Other options include: N/A (Turcotte injured)
Bjornfot – Clarke
Krygier – Wylie
Connauton – Haiskanen
Other options include: Hicketts, Nousiainen, Santini
Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm Pacific Time and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
Game day graphic via ALo Images
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com