A few notes before the Reign take on San Diego Gulls in their season opener at Valley View Casino Center at 7 p.m. tonight.
THE ‘A’ IN THE ‘A’
Winger Michael Mersch will wear an ‘A’ on his jersey tonight, according to head coach Mike Stothers. Mersch, who led Ontario with 24 goals a season ago, will don an ‘A’ for road games and defenseman Kevin Gravel will wear an ‘A’ for home games. The two players, both final cuts to the Kings’ roster, will alternate wearing the vacant patch left by center Nic Dowd, who made the Los Angeles roster. Captain Vincent LoVerde and previous alternate captain Sean Backman have returned to another season with Ontario.
IMOO TO BACKUP
As a result of Peter Budaj’s recall to Los Angeles due to the injury sustained by Jonathan Quick, the Reign were left without a backup earlier this week behind new No. 1 Jack Campbell. That backup spot for tonight will go to Jonah Imoo, according to a team source. Imoo, the son of goaltending coach Dusty Imoo, was with Ontario in training camp but was released last weekend.
Rob Scuderi will not play tonight, according to Stothers. The veteran defenseman cleared waivers earlier this week and in turn was assigned to Ontario. Also out is defenseman Zac Leslie (lower-body), who is not rostered currently.
For those not able to make the drive to San Diego or watch on AHL Live, there’s a new alternative to listen to the game broadcast. The team now has its own 24/7 radio station called Reign Redio through TuneIn, becoming the first AHL team to have such a channel. I’ll be visiting with play-by-play man Joey Zakrewski after the first intermission. For more info on this new radio feature, click here.