Ontario Reign Look Anything But Regal In Game 5 Loss To Allen Americans In 2015 ECHL West Finals

Ontario Reign forward and Los Angeles Kings prospect Maxim Kitsyn
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — On a night when their opposition, the Allen Americans, were on the brink of elimination from the ECHL’s 2015 Western Conference Finals, and knowing that their team was just one win away from reaching the 2015 Kelly Cup Final for the first time in franchise history, the Ontario Reign looked anything but regal.

Instead, the Reign were soundly beaten in Game 5 on Sunday night, 6-2, in front of 4,371 fans at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.

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Win Four Tickets To Ontario Reign’s First Home Game of 2015 Western Conference Finals

Image courtesy Ontario Reign

With the Los Angeles Kings having missed the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, it has been tough for many Los Angeles hockey fans, especially after having gotten accustomed to great success, with the team having two Stanley Cup Championships in the previous three seasons.

Indeed, Kings fans now expect to see their team as, not only one of the 16 teams who make the playoffs, but as one of the teams that makes a deep run towards winning the Stanley Cup.

Even though that isn’t happening this season, both of the Kings’ minor league affiliates have made it all the way to their respective conference finals, just eight wins away from a championship. Here in Southern California, the Kings’ ECHL affiliate the Ontario Reign, opens the Western Conference Finals against the Allen Americans (affiliate of the San Jose Sharks) in Allen, Texas, with Games 1 and 2 on May 17 and 18.

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Solid Progress For LA Kings First-Year Pro Defenseman Prospect Alex Roach

LA Kings defenseman prospect Alex Roach, shown here with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings having failed to earn an invitation to the National Hockey League’s post-season party this year, it might be easy for many to forget that both of their minor league affiliates are in the midst of playoff runs of their own.

Their current American Hockey League affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, won their first round series against the Portland Pirates in five games (best of five-game series), and will open their second round series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this evening (4:00 PM Pacific time in Manchester).

The Kings’ current ECHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, qualified for second round action by eliminating the Colorado Eagles in seven games. After winning their first two games of their second round series against the Utah Grizzlies in Ontario, the Reign play Game 3 this evening (4:05 PM Pacific time) in Utah.

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LA Kings LW Prospect Maxim Kitsyn: “It’s Just Me. I Have To Be Better…It’s Not Anybody Else”

LA Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn, shown here
playing for the ECHL’s Ontario Reign.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — When we last checked in with Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn in December 2014, his head coach said that “he wills his way, every shift.”

A couple of months later, that hasn’t changed.

“You know [that] when he puts on the uniform, he’s going to give you 110 percent,” said Jason Christie, head coach of the Ontario Reign, the Kings’ current ECHL affiliate. “You see him out there—he works, he competes. That’s why he got a call up—because he battles. He’s determined. I think that’s the biggest thing—how determined he is, as a player.”

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LA Kings Among Five NHL Teams Bringing AHL Affiliates To California

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The phrase, “Go West, young man!” has been around for many decades, and although it will take them 80 years, the American Hockey League is doing just that.

Indeed, it’s been in the works for years, and there has been an ever-increasing amount of talk about it over the past few years, but it all became reality on January 29, when the AHL announced that the affiliates of five National Hockey League teams will move to California to form a new Pacific Division of the AHL. The teams in this new division will begin play next season, marking the first time the AHL will have teams in California in what will be their 80-year history.

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